Junior challenges herself during the lenten season


Photo by Ayla Sozen

Story by Ali Richter, staff writer

Every year when February rolls around, I’m faced with the tough decision of what I should give up for Lent. Lent is a Catholic tradition in which participants generally give something up for the 40 days Easter. I typically give up a beloved unhealthy food, but this year I decided to really challenge myself.

I didn’t give up chips or meat this year, instead I chose to delete my Snapchat for 40 days. I had several impending streaks that I couldn’t just let go to waste, so my trusty friend Raga took over in my absence. Not only did she keep my streaks, she kept my snap friends entertained with various Snapchat stories of me.

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The first couple of days without it were glorious. School-wise, I was much more productive. I finished my homework an hour earlier than usual and I wasn’t tempted to look at my phone every five seconds in class. I was almost thankful I didn’t have to have meaningless “conversations” with people where all we did was send pictures of our faces.

However, that glorious feeling did not last long. After about a week, I felt completely disconnected from everyone. I couldn’t see Snapchat stories so I had no idea what people were doing. That was my main form of communication with some of my friends, and so we just talked less.

Everywhere I went, I was surrounded by people who were constantly on their phones sending selfies to other people. It was pretty amusing to just sit back and watch people try and take attractive pictures of themselves.

Texting became my main way to talk to people, and I have become quite speedy with my thumbs. Not many people wanted to talk to me badly enough that they texted me, which has somehow become much more inconvenient than snapping. However, I did text with some people daily and the conversation was much more riveting than your average snap convo.

About halfway through Lent, I was texting almost as much as I had snapped. My productivity level was lowered back to the rate it had been. I was also really missing looking at the magazines on snap, like Cosmo. I used to read Cosmo articles every morning in my car before school.

People were constantly asking me about things that pertained to Snapchat, like if I’d seen someone’s story or a new filter. I didn’t realize how much people’s lives revolved around Snapchat until I gave it up.

Towards the end of Lent, I had become indifferent towards Snapchat. If I had it, great, if I didn’t, I would survive. I was almost nervous when I redownloaded the app, but it was nice to get it back.

I wish I could say that this experience has caused me to give up Snapchat for good, but it hasn’t. Although I will definitely be snapping people less and continuing to text, Snapchat has become an important source of information and communication among me and friends that I don’t see very often.