Melissa Eisenberg


The Snapchat Dilemma

The Snap Ghost.

Don’t ghost me and watch my snaps everyday

Unlike many other social networks, Snapchat is special to me. It is a place for me to share things with people who I like, without fear of judgement.

I directly snap pictures of my breakfast, Uber/Lyft singing videos and silly faces to a group of maybe 10 people. They are comprised of my close friends, my siblings and my stay-at-home mom friends. As more people became my Snapchat ‘friends,’ I was distracted from thinking about my long term privacy because it was so fun in the moment.

Snapqueen, Halloween 2015

Over the course of time, and especially in San Francisco, people will come in and out of your life. You get used to it.

There are times where you do message someone, and they never message you back. It does get annoying when you see that they are alive and well, checking in at the restaurant next to your house.

Most people take note, realize these ‘ghosts’ suck and move on. On Facebook, it is considered mean to unfriend people, so you just unfollow and they are out of your newsfeed. Problem solved.

Snapchat is a different story. You don’t have to watch their snaps, but they can watch yours.

I didn’t notice it at first, but I started to see these ‘ghost watchers’ popping up in my Snapchat story. I wasn’t upset, but something felt troubling.

You want to voyeuristically watch my snaps, but you don’t want to respond to an email or text message? Do you know I can see you watching me?

Types of Ghost Watchers:

Ghoster #1: The Ex-Coworker

  • We aren’t friends because we shared an office. You weren’t even that nice to me and ghosted me when I was looking for a new job. BLOCK.

Ghoster #2: The Bad Date

  • Just because we went on two dates a year ago and you ghosted me doesn’t mean you deserve to see me and my boyfriend’s trip to Sonoma. BLOCK.

Ghoster #3: The Stranger

  • We see each other socially but have never actually had a conversation because you disappear. You just know me from my Snaps. BLOCK.

So, the equivalent of ‘unfriending’ on Facebook is ‘removing a friend’ on Snapchat. It sounds a lot meaner, but according to my tech bro, it is less intense:

Figuring out how to use Snapchat because it’s so damn difficult.

Even if I remove them, I may just be thinking about this all wrong. DJ Khaled, an infamous snapchatter reminds us on a daily basis, “They don’t want you to [insert anything].” He’s right. No matter what social media you are on, the haters are going to hate. But at least on Snapchat, I know who my haters are and cut them out. Maybe it all does make sense, considering the Snapchat logo is a ghost.

If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, recommend. If not, tell me what you think in the comments section.

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