Conversation Starters: Break Your Snapchat Streak
Having conversations with those you haven’t seen in a while can be anxiety-inducing. I’m familiar with the feeling myself and have at times made myself physically ill out of fear at the idea of interacting with an old friend after a lack of communication.
Because of this, I began to rely heavily on Snapchat and Snapstreaks as a way to keep up with my friends from high school and college.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term Snapstreaks, I’ve provided the definition below:
Now, I can understand the appeal of Snapstreaks. I still have a few myself. I don’t mean to sound like a hypocrite with this article, but I’m trying to find a way to sever my ties with Snapchat as well and figured I’d share with you what I’ve learned so far.
While in high school I would have several streaks going daily. My memory isn’t great and at times a friend and I would lose a streak due to my forgetfulness. It was common to tease the party who broke the streak and it was never malicious, but as an anxious and sensitive person I always felt guilty for being the one to break it.
To me, it felt as though I was showing my friend how little they mattered to me. To me, this action said: I couldn’t even be bothered to take a photo real quick to send to them within twenty-four hours? I was certain I’d hurt their feelings.
Now if that’s how they really felt, they sure didn’t say or show it. But I knew that when places were reversed and another friend broke our streak and didn’t immediately try to reinstate it, I was worried I was bothering them and that they’d just been humoring me by replying in the past.
I’ll admit it does sound silly when it’s written out in front of me, but this was a real fear I had in high school, college, and shortly after graduation. Keeping up with school friends is difficult once graduation ends. People move across the state and out of the country and it’s hard to make time to keep in touch.
So here’s my idea and I’m going to try it too: Let the streaks run out. Break them all!
At one point I had my friend from freshman year in a streak for 365 days. It ran out and I had a literal panic attack because it was my fault. Was she angry? No. Was she a little bummed out? Yeah, sure, but it didn’t ruin our friendship.
We were ‘talking’ everyday when we were doing streaks but there wasn’t anything important being said. It was mostly pictures of a black room sent a few minutes to midnight with STREAK written in all caps.
We haven’t talked in a few months actually, but prior to writing this article, I reached out over text and we had a little conversation. Was I super stressed beforehand? Definitely. But it went fine, we caught up throughout the day when we had time and once it was nighttime I said ‘goodnight and talk soon.’ And that was it.
It’s important to push oneself to have actual conversations whether it be via phone or in person. Just taking the stress off having to send a Snap for my streak every day has already improved my relationship with my friend. I know her better from one day of texting than I did from 365 days of snapping random objects and dark rooms at one another.
So, try it out. Break your streak and set aside a day - it can be every week, every month, whatever works for you - and reach out to your friend, even if it’s through text. Make it your goal to have a conversation with them throughout the day (or through one long phone session) and at night cut it off, so you don't have to worry about leaving anyone on read.
I promise it’s a much better way to keep in touch and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.