It’s essay time again in my English class, and this time it’s poetry. That means I’ve gotta scour the web, think critically about the many meanings of words like “windily”, and arrive at themes and tone. A daunting task. Oh, and I also have to procrastinate. (Enter me writing a blog post.) It’s a good feeling to turn a cryptic line into some deep triple-meaning mantra for life. But it’s one thing to be able to fill some pages with jot notes about all the areas of the poem, but quite another to write it all in a linear form that sounds eloquent. I dislike the latter. However, if I can get the latter done, it does make me sound less like a frantic and unorganized lunatic (which is basically the effect that my jot notes have for me).

If I wanna get down to writing that essay, I have to face the dreaded Blank Document. It’s the worst thing, trying to start a new paragraph, or a new page. That little page number reminds you just how far you have left to go. This time as my word processor added page two for me, and it was (as always) looming blank, I thought about it differently for a second. Usually my stance is not to give inanimate things human qualities. It’s not realistic and in some cases it annoys me when other people do it. But in my essay insanity, I was like “wait, how does this blank page feel?” It’s about to get written on. I wonder if it feels pride in holding scholarly words? If so, what about all the blank documents that get jot notes on them, are they disappointed that they don’t get the good job while their coworkers get to present essay-worthy words? Or maybe things aren’t so great in the world of blank documents. Do they feel violated after getting words stamped into them? I mean sure, you can erase what you’ve typed. But What about when a document is saved? They have to sit there filled with words they couldn’t get rid of. And what about being turned into PDFs? You can’t edit PDFs. Maybe that’s like document version of getting frozen in carbonite. Like, death. Or maybe documents breathe a sigh of relief, because it must be stressful waiting in a document folder for the next time they’ll get looked at and changed. Maybe they like having their privacy. Who am I to come along and brand them with the words in my head? Don’t they have some say in it?

Those poor word documents...

Those poor innocent word documents…

….NO crazy Ana, they DON’T, they are inanimate computer files that are stored in bytes, not in physical space. They do not have rights. Also, I don’t think this is the kind of thing that will merit me not being finished my essay. So go write. *slap slap*

Negligence

Hey guys, I know I haven’t been posting anything in the past while, but I have been busy with trying to read a book a week this year, and that’s pushed my blogging time to the sidelines. I update the 2014 Book List page periodically, if you want to keep track of what I’ve read so far, and also try to find quotes from books as I have been doing in posts. I will try to post occasionally but if you’re wondering at my absence, that is what’s happening as of now.

The Nature of Snapchat

I’ve seen people with opinions of either two things. Either that it’s (a) an excuse to take bad selfies, or (b) pointless. I disagree with the second, but the first, essentially, is true. Snapchat <em>is</em> an excuse to combine sending a text with taking a picture of yourself, which is generally a pretty vain pursuit. It’s also a pursuit that’s fun to indulge in sometimes. Also, it’s fun to take selfies with people. You can use those filters to take instagram-esque photos or take calculated funny/pretty selfies or just spastic ones. These are true statements… But they aren’t my complete opinion. Snapchat is multipurpose.

Something Snapchat can do that texting can’t is convey emotion. If you’re trying to talk to someone over text and you don’t know them well enough to know how they’ll react, it’s easy to misinterpret. And frustrating. Sometimes you just don’t know what the other person is thinking. If you can include a picture with this, it makes it easier. It’s a little bit more like being face to face with the person.

There are other things that the internet has provided to make you feel like you’re with a person. But for me, Skype or Facetime or whatever is a second choice to texting. I like texting because I can type fast, but I can also edit my words a bit. I do better writing out my thoughts than saying them as they come to mind. If I use Snapchat, I can communicate my flow of thoughts while also showing a certain amount of emotion. Emoticons in texting are just not the same thing. Do you know how many subtleties the face has? The :D face is nice to show that you’re happy, but it’s limited as to what it can do. It’s a colon and a capital D. The face is a <em>face</em>. No, taking a picture is not the same thing as being there to see the original face of a person as they react. But, assuming you’re good at taking a making a face that can capture the basic emotion as you reacted to the other person, pictures are a good.

If you were going to go with iMessage and just add a picture after every text, that could work, but the problem is that those pictures are saved. They take up space on your phone. It’s cumbersome to switch on your phone from the picture app to the texting app to the photos app or whatever and back again. It’s just <em>slow</em>. Snapchat might only give you a short time to view pictures, but sometimes you need impermanence. Is the expression on your face that you’re trying to convey through text so important that you’re gonna save it onto your phone and use up lots of storage space? Nah. But do you still want them to know that how you’re reacting to what they’re saying and whatnot? That’d be nice. And that’s where snapchat comes in, with its pictures that you <em>can</em> screenshot if you do want to, that relay emotion and location and reaction but are quick to do and don’t take up space on your phone. And video is a thing too if you need it. Wow.

Here is one problem though, the small space that you have to include a caption in. It’s understandable because in <10 seconds you can’t read a ton of text, but it still kind of sucks. That is undeniable. You don’t send a person just one line of text, you sometimes need to send them a whole bunch of text. Yeah, sometimes it sucks. Bu~t, that teaches you to be concise. If you’ve only got the length of your phone to type, you’re gonna re-evaluate your message and think about what you don’t need to include and still get the idea across. This is a good skill to learn. Yeah, it’s a skill to be able to explain many aspects of something in-depth. But a long-winded person can be tiring to listen to, and it’s better if you can efficiently sum up your point if you need to. If you absolutely have more to say, you can still do that. If it’s a word, there’s the drawing option. If it’s a whole bunch of words, send another snap quickly without interrupting your flow of thought. That can be hard sometimes, but speed is a good thing to have as a person to. Sometimes you’ve gotta think fast and move fast, like if you’re late or a lion is chasing you. If you can snapchat quickly, you’re right on your way to thinking quickly enough to outrun that lion.

…Okay, I might be starting to exaggerate now, which probably means it’s time to stop. But you’ve gotta agree with me, snapchat is a pretty cool thing. For me at least, sometimes it’s the ideal way to communicate. You kind of have to get used to it, and it’s one of those things that becomes what you make of it. If you just use it for selfies, that’s fine. But it holds the opportunity to be used for other things too. It’s a better app than people might give it credit for.