Snapchat isn't just a medium for your little sister and/or dick pics (hopefully the two realms never collided...) anymore. It's a fully operational social media platform that businesses and publications -- including the one you're reading right now, hint hint -- are fully taking advantage of. And -- this is from personal experience -- it provides an experience unique to online platforms that allow lightning-quick interactions without the lingering, more permanent repercussions of other social stalwarts. In other words, it's still great for dick pics.
Facebook, on the other hand, is not so great for showing off your genitals (you'll get banned, trust me), and apparently also not so great at keeping people happy -- Mark Zuckerberg's social behemoth is a self-selective experience that makes outsiders envy the best moments in others' lives. Snapchat on the other hand, creates the happiest users out of any social media platform -- that's according to recent study conducted by the University of Michigan.
In fact, the study asserts the only social interaction that gives off a more positive feeling than Snapchat, is actual face-to-face communication. Wait, people still do that?
"On the surface, many people view Snapchat as the 'sexting app,'" said Michigan researcher Joseph Bayer, the lead author of the study, "But instead, we found that Snapchat is typically being used to communicate spontaneously with close friends in a new and often more enjoyable way... at the same time, Snapchat interactions were perceived as having less social support than other social media. These findings open up important questions about the benefits and costs of different social media."
The study focused on 154 college students, gauging them by "experience sampling," which measures "how people think, feel and behave moment-to-moment in their daily lives—to assess the participants' well-being by texting them at random times six times a day for two weeks."
Why is Snapchat such a positive social media platform (besides the obvious hilarious filters...)? One major implication, according to the researchers, are Snapchatters' lack of concern over their "overall image," because Snapchat by its nature is a temporary experience, allowing users to be less self-conscious, and (for lack of a better word) sillier. That, and the fact that "moments" in Snapchat tend to be lower-key, less stressful, and more about fun minutiae than giant life experiences.
"Since Facebook has become a space for sharing crafted big moments such as babies, graduations and birthdays, Snapchat seems to provide users with a distinct space for sharing the small moments," Bayer said.
So, what's the big take-away? Basically, if you don't have time to talk face-to-face to people (and who does?), it's best to use your time Snapping away. Search for "Thrillist" on Snapchat, and get your standard quota of happiness for the day. Just don't send us dick pics.
Just kidding, please do.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. He thinks fortune favors the bold. And also the rich. Follow him @wilfulton
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