Since its introduction, the Snapstreak has become an integral part of TAS students’ lives. For those who send mass Snaps to maintain their streaks as part of their daily morning routine, the loss of triple-digit streaks causes much weeping, grieving, and general anguish. When it comes down to it, however, is the massive role that Snapstreaks play in our lives for the better, or for the worse?

For:

In life, nothing is permanent. The takeaway? Even the longest Snapstreak will eventually fizzle out. But between the inception of a Snapstreak and its inevitable end, Snappers around the world undergo an exhilarating journey which brings them together as never before.

Snapstreaks are an excellent medium for getting to know new people. Emily Tai (10) says, “If it’s with someone that you haven’t really talked to before, [starting a streak] can become a pathway to start talking to that person.” By exchanging ugly filtered Snaps daily, new friends can easily overcome the awkwardness of an in-person introduction, as they learn to laugh with–and at–each other.

Streaks are useful for strengthening existing friendships as well: an extended streak with an old friend represents your mutual commitment. Like two parents raising a baby, Snap contacts connect over the shared responsibility of nurturing their very own streak and watching it grow before their eyes.

Best of all, Snapstreaks provide a complete package of social connection while taking up minimal time. McKenzie Engen (9) says, streaks “keep up with the new modern age. Everything has to be fast and quick.” The simplicity of Snapstreaks is a blessing for busy TAS students, providing them with their link to other individuals while demanding very little of their precious, already-overbooked time.

Against:

Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO, describes the goal of Snapchat as: “…to help [users] communicate with friends in whatever way makes them happiest.” However, modern Snap streaking has become so absurd that it can hardly be called communication.

Meaningless Snaps sent purely for the sake of preserving streaks make up a significant portion of Snapchat exchange. Samantha K. (10) says that “a lot of the Snaps I get every day are just black screens captioned with the word ‘streak’.” No matter how many days the streak stretches out, such a pointless “communication” will never help build a true relationship between two contacts, unless you are that exceptional type of person who can understafnd a peer by viewing pictures of their wall for 300 straight days.

Streaks also consume a colossal amount of students’ time. It may only take a minute to maintain your streaks each day, but multiplied over a three hundred-day streak, those minutes add up to five hours wasted keeping up with an empty trend. Big numbers, the impression of social acceptance, and sheer inertia easily feed streak addictions, but even an hour of meaningful conversation has far greater social worth than an entire year of inane Snapstreaking.