Why I took a 6 month break from Snapchat
A question I get a lot on social media, and from my friends, is why I stopped using Snapchat. I used it pretty often last year, documenting my trip to Dallas for the ACM Awards, my trip to Alaska, and of course my trip to Portugal in the fall. After I got back from Portugal though I stopped snapping. It wasn't like I said I was going to stop forever, but I felt like I needed a break. I feel like it's kind of important to share why I took a 6 month break from Snapchat..and why I'm back now.
One of the things that's amazing about social media is that you're able to share snippets of your life. I remember when Twitter was big and tweeting was one of my favorite past times. I wouldn't go to bed without scrolling through and reading the latest tweets. Then, that all transitioned into the next greatest social media outlet: Instagram. Instagram is still my favorite social media platform and I feel like I could spend all day on there sometimes. When Instagram started I remember thinking that this would be a platform to see what really happened behind the scenes. Quickly, though, it turned into a much more editorial space with posed images and styled shots. It's true that maybe I don't want to share a photo of all the laundry piling up on my bed on my Instagram account, especially because that photo will live on my feed indefinitely.
When Snapchat first launched I was a little apprehensive. I felt like it was a teenager thing and I also wasn't sure how it would play into blogging. Quickly I learned how it is an ideal platform for sharing day-to-day, behind the scenes details of your life. That pile of laundry was something I could totally post, and then people wouldn't see it 24 hours later! I liked being able to share things with my friends and family that I might not normally post on Instagram. It felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the stylized look of Instagram.
A downside to Snapchat though was that I felt like it took me out of the moment. I'd be at a dinner with friends and want to just enjoy their company without feeling like I needed to document the whole thing. I've been out with certain friends who are obsessed with Snapchat and it's like their phone is another person in the room, always watching and listening. It can be a little distracting. Plus, for me, most of my days are spent on my computer in my office. I'm usually in sweats and messy hair! Blogging can be extremely glamorous at times with events and parties but for me that hasn't been an aspect I've prioritized more than I have to.
The one thing I really didn't expect though from Snapchat was to get negative feedback from followers. I've always had more of a sensitive personality so when I would get comments about people bashing what I looked like, what I was doing, and how I sounded, I started to feel down. Feeling bad about yourself is one of the worst feelings, especially when you're a part of an industry where you constantly feel so much pressure as it is. I know I should just brush that stuff aside but it honestly just got to me and made me feel terrible. When I first started blogging in 2009 I really was just looking at my site as a creative outlet and more of a personal online diary. I didn't expect to gain a following and have anyone even read my blog. Now it's one of the things that I think people have to accept when you start a blog. By starting a blog you're opening yourself up to the public. And it's not just your life that's on display, but also that of your families and friends. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and while I'm all for free-speech I wish it didn't come at the cost of hurting people's feelings. Needless to say, my feelings got hurt and I felt down enough to stop Snapping.
photos by Valorie Darling
Not snapping for the past 6 months has actually been kind of nice because it's been one less thing to worry about. Also, the app isn't draining my battery like crazy! I've been able to enjoy the day to day where I didn't need to snap every conversation or funny thing that happened. There have definitely been some fun, Snap-worthy things that I would have liked to have shared with you all, and ultimately, that's why I decided to start again. I felt like I was allowing other people's opinions to prevent me from sharing experiences I wanted to document.
If you do start following me on Snapchat (@maraKferreira) just know that I'm a little shy on camera, so there will probably be more photos than videos. Also, I won't share everything because that's just not me. You'll see some fun things though, probably a lot of Ginger, the progress in our nursery, and some of our favorite food spots around LA. I'm excited to start using this app again because I do feel like it's a great way to share the more real elements of life.
I'd love to know how you think about Snapchat. Have you tried it? What do you like or dislike about it?