The power of temporary social media

snapchat

A friend and I are enjoying a lunch together, when she cracks a raunchy joke.

As she nears the punchline, I see her exact facial expressions. I listen intently, and hear each and every word. A split second later, I bust out laughing. She sees my reaction and also begins laughing. We enjoy a shared moment, and then as the laughing subsides, we continue with our lunch.

Afterwards, I remember her facial expressions and her words, but only as a figment of my imagination. The joke may retold as a story. It may be recast as a rumor. Or it may be forgotten. Whatever happens, the exact scene and the exact words are gone forever.

This is how real human communication works.

Today, we are seeing a trend towards temporary social media. That is, shared media which disappears after a prescribed amount of time. Snapchat is leading the way, but there are other startups on the horizon, such as Frankly.

At first, temporary social media was misunderstood as a gimmick best used for sexting. But with the growing traction of Snapchat, it is clear that it is much more powerful than that.

In my humble opinion, the power of temporary social media is simple: it closely mimics real human communication. We see a message in its exact form, get a chance to savor it, and then it is gone, relegated only to our memories.

P.S. This is post 6/100 in a 100 day blogging challenge. See you tomorrow!

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