Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Breaking up with Snapchat

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Hi!


I wasn't going to write this post, but I've gotten messages and comments on every platform every day for the past three weeks asking where I am on Snapchat - I'm done with it. Done. Gone. Not coming back. Over. Finished.

The Honeymoon Period
I joined Snapchat when it started to become a popular platform for bloggers, so maybe 2015? I'm a stay at home Mum and it was such a brilliant way to chat to other people. I loved the novelty of seeing other peoples daily lives, and as someone who has never gone to a blog event, I loved seeing those too. I enjoyed watching super famous people like Reese Witherspoon and the Kardashians (and Britney's sister), it was a total novelty.

As my views went up, more and more people started to send me messages. Which was lovely, for the most part. I got a bit of hassle early on and it really got to me (so much so that I wrote this post) - I left for a couple of days, and got hundreds of supportive messages from people. I came back, skin thicker than ever, and kept snapping daily life - but I just got so tired of it. It got to the point where I was expected to answer questions daily - I've no issue with general questions, but it got incredibly intrusive ("what should I buy my mother for Christmas" "show us your husband" "what does your husband do" "where abouts do you live" "why do your kids not go to playschool" "why do you not have a dishwasher [complete with Dermot Bannon style plans on how I could fit one in - who needs cupboards anyway]" "why have you so much crap on your worktops" "why don't your kids have a playroom" "why don't you snap your cat" "why don't you let your cat in the house" "why do you have a cat around kids" "can I have a shoutout" "can you post about my blog" "can you mention my charity fund" "can you mention our sale" "can you mention our discount" "can you mention my birthday" "can you snap your cat for my sister" "can you snap that recipe again that you snapped six months ago" "how do I cook this turkey" "why are you wrapping Santa presents" "why are you leaving presents out before Christmas" "what are the last order dates for beauty bay" "can u email me your PR contacts I want to start a blog" - all real questions I was asked.


You Changed, Man
Over the past year, in general, the atmosphere on Snapchat changed. As advertising increased (no issue with this by the way - I did an ad too) - people began to question motives more. Anonymous threads began to appear, Instagram comments started to turn sour, the rise of the term "influencer" took over and seemed to sweep us all down the river. Anyone with a public Snapchat account was called an influencer and was discussed, questioned, and examined. Can I add here, for the record - nobody has any obligation to declare something as an #ad if money hasn't changed hands. That's a really common misconception - that people are being misled intentionally. And that's how I felt Snapchat had turned - people were now watching with an overly critical eye, ready to pounce on a slip-up. It was really uncomfortable and led to the constant re-filming of Snaps. Also, the term "blogger" was thrown around when discussing Snapchat, leading to a huge increase in ACTUAL bloggers throwing in the towel because of the negative connotations attached to the title. Every time someone mentioned something "bloggers need to avoid" it all related to Snapchat. A blogger is someone who writes and posts on a website, not someone with a Snapchat account.


Seven Two Year Itch
I love chatting. I do. But it got to the point where I was getting so many messages that I didn't want to open my app at all, and I didn't want to turn my WiFi on at all some days. I'd get a sense of dread every time I looked at the phone. I began to censor myself more and more. I also got really paranoid. I got paranoid that people were talking about me, or that I was doing something wrong, I got paranoid about showing products I liked. I didn't like the idea of people discussing me. I didn't like having to justify myself constantly. I didn't like having to censor my snaps in case a child was in the background because people would screenshot them. I tried closing my messages but then it felt like I was talking to nobody and it was all a bit pointless (plus, the minute I opened my Snaps again all the undelivered messages would come through anyway and I'd be back at square one). Being 100% honest, my family got a bit pissed off with me snapping when we were out too. And my grocery shopping took FOREVER because I snapped so many shelves. All the craic went out of snapping.


Packing My Bags
The final straw was when my children were in bad form and I hadn't really snapped much - I tried to put on a happy face and snapped about going out for a burger. The first reply I got was "state of your nails tho..." and I thought - right, that's it, done. I'm no longer prepared to put myself under that scrutiny, this isn't my job. I don't have to do this. I chose to share, so I choose to stop. By the end, over 5,000 people were watching me - people I know in real life who don't speak to me in real life were watching me and it freaked me out. Imagine walking into a room with 5,000 people in it, everyone knowing your name, your home, your daily routine - and you haven't a clue who 4,750 of them are. It made me feel very vulnerable. One night I got a message with a video of a guy my husband worked with years ago - how did they find him? How did I even come up in conversation?! I said to my sister "I feel like I'm being watched all the time" and she replied ".........but............you are?!".

Freedom
I've been snap-free for almost a month now and I have to say, my mood has improved dramatically. I wake up knowing that my day is my own, I'm not under any obligation to share, I don't have to sit answering questions for hours (and it took hours), I can still have chats with people on other social media platforms, and I'm talking to people I lost contact with because they didn't 'do' Snapchat. I've more time for the kids, I've more time to read, I've more WiFi and Data left so I can catch up on Netflix more often - I can genuinely say there hasn't been one single downside to leaving. I miss a couple of people very much and I need to make more of an effort to interact with them on other platforms but apart from that? I don't miss a second of it. I'm out of the bubble, and my mental health thanks me for it.

I'm not coming back. I really, really appreciate the support and nice messages - but I'm telling you, I'm done.



I still love talking shite and sharing bargains, tips, food, books, daily life stuff - I'm on Instagram (I do the odd story there too), I'm on Twitter, I'm on Facebook -  I've still been blogging here regularly too, I never stopped that. I haven't gone away. I'm just done with the anonymity and pressure that comes with snapping. I've actually got much more time now for the other platforms and my engagement across all of them has been so much better since I left Snapchat - so please do get in touch!

Thank you to every single person who followed or snapped since I started - thanks for the shoutouts, for the laughs, and for the support.

It's not you, it's me.






33 comments:

  1. Totally understandable as to why you left, the selfish part of me hopes you come back, really really miss your snaps and brutal honesty haha!
    I'll have to join instagram now to catch up on all things Sharon!!! :) xx

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    1. Believe me you're missing nothing! Thank you xx

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  2. Delighted you're feeling happy about your decision. Although I never posted I got to the point where I had about 2 hours of snaps to watch every day, it would drive my husband crazy, he'd walk into the room and hear another 'one sh*ting on'- I enjoyed it for hearing voices from home. But you're right all of a sudden it was all about the ad and then there was less of the content that I enjoyed listening to, or arguments about whether something was an ad or not, or if there was a boards thread. I still have the app and will check in occasionally if I'm bored, but delighted with my reclaimed time!

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    1. My husband was the very same, couldn't understand the appeal of watching people over and over all the time! x

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  3. Sharon, fair play to you! Seriously. It took me an age to join snapchat and I'm very hit & miss with it. You were one of the lady's I watched regularly but I'm glad you've left, not because I don't miss seeing you but because your mental health is far more important than an app. Keep doing what you're doing elsewhere. Do you know, I'm actually sorry you had to write this post at all; I wish people would have just accepted your decision and respected it but I can understand too, you're a great lady x

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    1. Thanks Nic, I'm glad I didn't let the blog or other stuff slide - I'd be fecked altogether! x

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  4. Ah Sharon I had no idea it was that bad for you... I do genuinely miss your snaps but glad for you that youre not under that pressure anymore. Siobhan xx

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    1. I loved it at first but it just got too big (that's what she said) - couldn't keep up xx

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  5. What (another!) great post, Sharon. I left Snapchat around the same time and I do not miss it. Four years ago I had the exact same feelings about Facebook, and left it for a week or so but I have never gone back. It was the best thing I have ever done. I got totally sucked into Snapchat and wasting hours watching other people's lives, and neglecting my own. Since I left it, my days are filled with mini accomplishments and getting things done in record time! I could never say that watching your snaps was a waste of my time, though. I fully understand the 'goldfish bowl syndrome' and it is not a nice place to be. Thanks for the chats, tips and laughs. You are simply wonderful x

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    1. Thank you Ann - that's exactly what started to happen here, I'd put the lads to bed and I'd sit until my phone battery died flicking through hundreds of people - wasted so much time and got nothing done! It's a huge time sucker. x

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  6. I miss you already!!! But I totally get it. Great post! <3 I feel the day to say goodbye to Snapchat will come for us all. I'm so glad I got to meet you through it, though! For that, I will forever be grateful for Snapchat. :)

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    1. You were one of the reasons I didn't want to leave, I really miss your snaps! I'm so glad we got to know each other even a little bit through Snapchat xx

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  7. Big deal. Jesus wept. You're a pain in the Gee anyway.

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    1. And you're clearly a breath of fresh air. What a horrible comment. How brave you are hiding behind your anonymous profile.

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  8. Reading this, you totally made the right decision. I miss you on Snapchat but if it isn't fun you're under no obligation to do it for other people. I'm actually going to delete it even for watching people, just not digging it anymore...

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    1. I think it has peaked tbh - I think there was a sense of naivety around it at the start but it's just too intrusive now. x

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  9. Miss your snaps but I totally get why you've left at the end of the day you have to do what's best for you and ur family!! I genuinely wish you and ur family all the best.

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  10. On a purely selfish note, I miss your chats and also miss trying to guess the questions you might be asked after snapping about something! I'm thankful that because of Snapchat, we finally got to meet. Now, about that slow cooker chicken... ;P

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    1. Upside down, no water, seventeen hours on high 😉

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  11. I have to say I genuinely miss watching your snaps, you were one of the first I went to everyday. I never actually snapped you, as I never felt the need to question your life or why you do things a certain way as it was and is none of my business! I am genuinely shocked at the intrusive questions you received so your decision to leave is completely understandable. I would probably do the very same thing. But from a genuine follower who enjoyed you for being you, I miss the snaps, the genuine honesty and the general chats and I will continue to follow you here. Xxx

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  12. An interesting read for me, because the rise of Snapchat and the perceived need for bloggers to be on it, was one of the reasons I gave up writing on this blog! I didn't 'get' Snapchat, and nor did I want to lose my partial anonymity just for ratings, which for me would've been the only reason to do it. It also shocked me to realise that the rating of my blog meant so much to me..

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  13. Michelle HallihanMarch 21, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Well done Sharon!! I miss you on snapchat, you were by far the most normal down to earth person on it and it was from watching your snaps and following your other social media that I got the courage to share my crochet and I thank you for that. I totally understand your reasons for coming off snapchat but will continue to support and follow you on facebook & instagram. Thank you for all the laughs and tips. Wishing you continued success with your blog. Xx

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  14. I'm falling out of love with snapchat too, i find myself skipping through more snaps than I watch these days so I think I'll be deleting it too. You were one of the only ones I never skipped through, loved your down to earth honesty. Bit delighted you are feeling more relaxed and energised without it. I'm going to follow your lead!

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  15. Sharon! I really miss you snaps but you gotta do what you gotta do! Great post and I'm still following on insta etc. Thanks for being so honest its very refreshing. Thanks for the tips and laughs you are very genuine and naturally witty.

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  16. Sorry you had to leave Snapchat Sharon but I completely understand. We all spend too much time with our faces stuck in our phones missing what's going on around us. I love your blog. Best of luck with it all ����

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  17. The actual cheek of people thinking they have a right to ask those sort of questions! No wonder you have left and you are dead right, your happiness and mental health is worth so much more than that. Will continue to read the blog, best of luck.

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  18. totally understand that! I had it click with me the other day, I was spending a lot of time watching idiots I would never talk to in real life try to sell me something Id never buy in real life....yet I was still watching! wtf! I dont recognise my own children these days...okay slight exxageration there but you catch my drift.

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  19. For what it's worth, I really enjoyed your snaps. I don't read many blogs and actively follow the people/pages I have liked but I'll be keeping an eye on your page and look forward to seeing what you're up to (with books and the likes, not in an intrusive way!😂)

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  20. Fair play Sharon, as much as I loved watching your snaps I totally get why you left. Some people are ruining it for us all by being so over critical that people can't share real content anymore! It's going to get really boring when people start to only share really heavily curated content!

    P.S. Would you mind if I repost this post? Of course you'll get all the credit I just really get where you're coming from and I'd love to post it along with a follow up of how it's going to affect snapchat watchers (like me!).

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    1. Of course I don't mind Saoirse, fire ahead x

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  21. 100% understand where you are coming from. Miss you though I really enjoyed your craic! I'll just enjoy it now via facebook/instagram instead lol fair play to you!xx

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  22. Like everyone else I really do miss you in snapchat. You were the only one in there I would check out daily. You seem so genuine and I must admit I love your accent :)
    But seeing those questions you were getting asked are giving me anxiety and I fully understand why you left. Apart from that I think no person should need to explain themselves!

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