Braapchat: The Next Generation of Assholes that YOU'RE Going to be Part of (NSFW)
No offense guys and girls, but we're all assholes ... at least by the standards of ourselves from 15-20 years ago. Are you far enough removed from the days when you saw a guy on his giant cell phone in the grocery store, and you thought "Ohhh.. look at Mr. Important on his cell phone in the store!" Raise a hand if you said something about him to the person with you.. just loud enough for Mr. Important to hear.
And now we need to have laws just to keep your eyes off your cell phone while you're DRIVING! Can you believe this turnaround? We went from mocking the guy in the store to being so obsessed that we're looking at a phone instead of the things in the road while we're doing 60 mph?!
I feel like modern-day-me and 20-years-ago-me would totally get into a fight; and I'd definitely be able to take him now that 35 year old me has filled out a bit.
You probably mocked Bluetooth headset guy too, although I don't think that technology ever became accepted enough for the user to NOT look like a dick. Then you maybe humblebragged about how your phone "only makes phone calls... because that's what phones are for", mocking the early adopters of email and texting on cell phones.
You may have missed MySpace entirely, holding out well into Facebook's maturity before conceding that social media was a real and valid form of communication. Now you're LOL'ing and 'liking' and 'sharing', whether for business or pleasure, and it's hard to even remember the time when Mr. Important offensively broke the awkward silence of the grocery store.
Which brings us to Snapchat. "What? That thing people send nude pics on?" Yeah, that thing. I listen to a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk (social media guru) - if you're a "mountrepreneur" you should too - and he's fairly certain that Snapchat will not only grow in popularity, but will go so far as to define the social media behavior of a generation, as Facebook has done before it.
It will at first seem superfluous - as did Facebook, or the guy on his cell 20 years ago, or the word superfluous - but then it gets catchy. It's so fundamentally different from the social media we're using right now that it's almost too difficult to explain. Yes, you post a picture or short video clip that can be seen briefly before disappearing forever. How's that tough to explain? OK, maybe it's not tough .. what's tough is explaining why/when people post, and what the resulting behavior is in "real life". The key difference between Snapchat and what you're used to is how personal it is, and how spontaneous it is. You're not posting pre-made, touched up videos; you're posting what's happening now.
You're recording on-the-spot and posting immediately. Inhibitions are lowered by the fact that you know it's disappearing (it can stay in your story for up to 24 hours.. like a stomach bug), and it's not being shared.
So the interesting part, and the reason I mentioned Mr. Important in the first place, is the change in behavior when people start using it. The closest thing right now is the selfie. If anyone still gets annoyed by the concept of selfies, buckle in, life's about to get rough. People are going to be making mini self-documentaries.. walking around with an outstretched arm, talking into their phone.
And they're gonna snap that shit.
And you're gonna be one of them.
How will this play out in mountain biking? Well, for starters, most of us are going to talk about the assholes snapping in the trails. We'll probably make jokes about them 'snapping' their femur if they don't focus on the trail (----Did I just make the first Snapchat mountain bike joke??-----).
Then, over the next 12 to 18 months you'll start to see your favorite pros getting accounts. Before long, I'd bet that action cam makers like GoPro will be adding snappy features to their cameras.
Either way, I'll be looking into Snapchat and enjoying the ride. You can see what I'm up to at mattmovesmtns. If you're wondering who else is on Snapchat, I'll be highlighting interesting Snapchat accounts in the mountain bike community in future blog posts.
Before making a snap judgement (#dadjokes!) about what assholes these young Snapchatters are, just remember that you're an asshole too. Again, no offense.