There’s an episode of My Wife and Kids where Claire breaks up with Tony because her dad has finally warmed to him and confesses how much he likes him.
This is entirely the issue with the news that there’s been an uplift in 35 and over Snapchat users. The things that my mother finds interesting and cool are generally things that bore me to death. So, when I hear stats like ‘an estimated 14% of U.S. smartphone users 35 or older are on Snapchat’ and ‘Snapchat gets popular with parents’, I almost want to throw up. The realisation has hit me. I’m just not that cool anymore if Jane’s 57 year old mum could be using the dog filter with her mate at work too.
The problem for me is exclusivity. Snapchat is quick and instant and doesn’t last more than 24 hours. The exclusivity spreads very thin if your mum and dad could be watching you in 10 second spouts of engineered madness. When I think of a platform like that, I cannot think of anyone over the age of 35 (sorry to all those that turned 36 today, you just missed the cut) using it without having to put on their glasses and ask what that button does. And imagine them posting a private snap to their story?? GAME OVER!
I love Snapchat and I’m not saying users 35 and older are ruining it (I mean they are), but if you’re a parent who has children on the platform and want in on the action, find a way to do so without force following them. It’s not cool bro.
Snapchat for me is about sharing what I’m doing in my life with everyone in that moment, without having to imagine what my mother will think if she saw me having a tequila shot contest with Humberto at Blue Parrot club in Mexico! All I want to do is have fun without the mum look of judgement when I come down for breakfast on Saturday morning (afternoon obviously).
As radical as it sounds, Snapchat just isn’t made for the likes of my 51 year old mother and her friends. She won’t get it and even if she could, she doesn’t need to! Selfish? Yes, I know but I really wish she just stuck to Facebook where all the rest of her sensible age mates are chilling.
I thought maybe I was being too harsh so I obviously had to ask what the younger end of the Livity Snapchat fam thought about potentially having their parents using the app and following them:
“I want to have some freedom, something for just me and my friends.” – Kamila, 15
“I just want to live my life without them asking me all these questions.” – Joe, 15
“My dad would be a completely different situation – I’m not trying to die yet, he has an opinion about everything.” – Shyane, 15
“No one over the age of 25 should be using Snapchat anyway.” – Tiersha, 23
The reality is Snapchat is for any and every one but it’ll very quickly turn into a Claire and Tony situation if we don’t nip this in the bud with immediate effect. If Mr Kyle can understand that being in agreement with the choices his kids make is not necessarily a good thing, why can’t the rest of the old adult world. Being a rebel is a thing. An important thing.
Nina Danjuma, 21, @ninadnj