OH SNAP! Or, How I Learned to Stop Hating on it and Love Snapchat.


One of my mentors told me a while back I needed to get on Snapchat. My first response was “I’m not 14 and don’t need to send naked pics…,” paired with a roll of the eyes and that holier-than-thou voice we all affect when rebuffing the latest trend. But as Snapchat has continued to blow up I finally decided to join, more from FOMO than anything else. Over the holiday break I started toying with the app and after some failed attempts at mastering the UI—I was hooked.

First off: Stop saying you are too old.

If I had a dollar for each time someone who was born before 1985 says “I’m too old for this” in regards to Snapchat, or any new technology really, I could fund my Starbucks habit for a few solid months.

As the Buddha said:

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

You aren’t “too old” to learn a new technology, even one with a confusing UI learning curve like Snapchat: you are either too lazy or too scared.

If you’re too lazy, that’s fine, just don’t complain when new tech and ways of connecting pass you and your business by. For a while, I too was in the lazy camp (which is my usual base camp before attacking any new social network). After poking around, watching some videos made by tweens, and asking a 16 year old for pointers—voila! Snapchat usability mystery solved.

If you’re too scared, please, don’t be. It breaks my heart when people refuse to at least try and adapt to the constantly changing world of technology and social media. I know it’s not easy, but at the end of the day, it’s not technology you’re shunning: it’s learning. It’s like refusing to open a book in the 1400s because all of the stories you had ever heard were told verbally – it doesn’t change the fact that books exist, and just deprives you of knowledge and understanding.

The pace of change is rapid, and most trendy things that come out are bupkis and swiftly pass out of vogue. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to at least give them all a college try and keep tabs on the trends as you do.

The Power of Snapchat Stories

Snapchat itself is fun: you can send photos and videos to friends and family, add stickers and text, and draw right on them before sending. But the real power of Snapchat comes from their Stories feature. In the past few months, we’ve seen an astronomic rise of content creators and “Snapchat Stars” using stories to give people an intimate look at their daily lives. If you haven’t heard of DJ Khaled and the massive audience he’s building with Stories, you’re really missing out.

To show how Snapchat Stories can fit into your current digital ecosystem, I’ll highlight my own social media habits…

I use Facebook primarily for personal use, but I do post some things publicly to 4k “followers” (no idea how they got there btw, one day I just noticed it…). I also use Facebooks groups for my blog’s community hub @ Escaping the 9 to 5 and for the recently launched The Memento Mori Society (which I referenced in my last post: You Are Going to Die — not as morbid as it sounds 😉).

My Instagram account is again personal; I just post what I like and follow things that interest me.

I use Twitter mostly for business and to discover new content to read / keep tabs on influencers

Now, there are a lot of snippets of my day people *may* (or more likely may not) find interesting, the largest parts of those would be the way I work (mostly virtually, hopping from coffee shop to office, from SF to some random tropical locale) and the insights I glean during the day from my work with demystifying death to my entrepreneurial adventures.

Before Snapchat Stories, there wasn’t a good way to share these momentary peeks into my daily life without being annoying. Posting what book I am currently reading, or videos of my random working spaces always seemed a little self-involved. The great thing with Snapchat is that the only people who follow your Story are people who actively want to know what you’re up to… They’re a self-selected captive audience.

For a brand you can allow interested people behind the scenes, seeing how your wares are made, what your team is doing. For a personality whether you’re internet related like my friend Pat Flynn (mcpatflynn on Snapchat) and Chris Ducker (chrisducker) or a well known entre-celeb like Tony Hsieh (archcove) you can give your fans and readers insights into your daily life—whether it’s Tony’s crazy travels or Pat’s family life and podcasting.

How to use Snapchat

On the off chance I’ve sold you on giving Snapchat a try, here are some resources to check out:

  • The Wall Street Journal has a great guide on how to love Snapchat (they call it “Snapchat 101”).
  • Here’s a fabulous YouTube video that teaches the basics of Snapchat with handy screenshares so you can see exactly what to do, by Break the Internet.
  • Business Insider had one of their young writers put together a screenshot-and-text article about “How to Use Snapchat,” which is great if you want to go through at your own pace.

And that’s it! When you do decide to start Snapping, add me: marenk8 — I’m excited to see your Stories on the other side of the happy ghost !


If you’re already on Snapchat scan the code above and see what happens!

**This post was originally posted, by me, on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/oh-snap-how-i-learned-stop-hating-love-snapchat-maren-kate-donovan