Avoid Faux Pas on Snapchat by Following These Rules

What are some things to avoid doing on Snapchat? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Sabrina Li, 7000 pts +, on Quora:

To me, avoiding sharing sexually explicit content goes without saying. That said, here are some tips on how to make your Snapchats more enjoyable and get the fun interactions started.

If you’re new to Snapchat, make sure you add some friends/family that are already snapping or coerce your friends/coworkers into joining. If you are friends with someone who’s really active on the platform, you’ll get some fun ideas of what you can do and what is standard. (You can also try to follow celebrities stories to get an idea if you don’t have friends at first.)

If you’re not comfortable sending selfies to begin with, try sending photos/videos of little things that you think are a bit humorous/or you’re proud of. To give you an idea, my friends and I snap photos of funny signs we see in public or meals that we’ve cooked (proud moments of recent college grads). You can also show off the weather to friends who live farther away — East Coasters are always jealous of 70 degree snaps in the winter!

Got your first friend? Make sure to be responsive to their snaps they send to you. This might seem like a burden at first, but if you don’t respond to at least some of their messages – they’ll feel like you’re not interested in what they’re trying to share. Mutual commitment to trying is key! If you don’t respond, you’ll slowly be pushed off their top list for friends who do respond to them. Responses don’t have to be photos; you can also reply by chat.

Also, don’t make a rookie mistake and screenshot everything they send. Especially if the photo was a selfie, some people can get a bit uncomfortable. Snapchat is meant to be transient, people don’t expect their shared moments to be relived. If they’re your best friend they might not take it as seriously – just be cautious for the first few snap conversations. Don’t set the tone as the friend who will always screenshot and rub it in their faces later on.

Little tips:

  • Avoid snaps that are too short, especially if you took the photo in landscape. Aim for something like 6 seconds.
  • If you’re shooting a video, try to make the action happen in the first half. Videos on snapchat can be quite long.
  • If sound is imperative to the video, try captioning it with ‘turn your sound on’. A lot of people use their phone on silent and will miss the main message.
  • If you’re too nervous to take a normal selfie, try using the filters that Snapchat has (ones that add puppy ears, distorted face shape). It can lighten the mood.
  • Remember, not every snap has to go to every person. Only post to your story if you want any of your friends to see it (many will view it, even if you don’t actively snap personally with them).

I’m sure that many friend groups use Snapchat differently than mine, but if you commit to trying it for two weeks, you’ll get a good feel for what’s normal.

Answer by Ankkit Siingh, Instant Messaging enthusiast, on Quora:

Do not, DO NOT share nudes!

Listen and listen carefully all teenagers with raging hormones, don’t do this because you will surely end up regretting this later. Pinky Swear!

Understand this:
There is no such thing as a secure channel! The internet is a jungle, a big bad jungle. It’s a great place to explore and learn as long as you play safe and follow the rules!

If you don’t know the rules, click here:
safetynetkids.org.uk
Staying Safe Online

Apple, Google, Snapchat, Facebook: nothing is secure. They are not lying when they say it’s secure. It’s just that there is no such thing as an unbreakable system! Someday someone is going to break into it and you will be the one who will end up paying for it.

Also, even if you consider these channels totally secure and let’s assume they are, what’s the guarantee that the person receiving the nudes on the other end isn’t a prick.

Before you answer, let me.

There is no guarantee. He could be the nicest person you’ve ever met and would still be a prick.

Why?

Well, that’s just the way we humans are wired! Something done in jest might end up having huge repercussions for you. There are a thousand ways through which your snaps can be procured without you having any knowledge about it. Just go through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and you will find a plethora of apps promising to save snaps without the sender knowing about it. Or he could just click a picture of your snap with some other phone! C’mon be real!

Remember: What goes on the internet, stays on the internet!

Be careful, be safe.

Answer by Sabrina Ali, Loves Snapchat, on Quora:

Snapchat is built for committing faux pas, and that’s what makes it great.

Snapchat is all about having a flair for the awkward, the weird, the unflattering, the spontaneous. Yes, there are people who are experts at conveying their complete and utter coolness on Snapchat and on social media generally, but the worst thing you could do is try to be like that.

Here are some tips along those lines:

  • Just go for it: Don’t think too hard – just do it! Famous last words I know, but in this case, your snaps actually disappear so your downside is pretty limited (at least I keep telling myself that). Once you send/receive ten or so, you’ll have a really good sense of timing, angles, interface etc., but those things are hard to get right at first. To get over your initial hump, you should keep your standards healthily low and just send a bunch of weird, random snaps to your unsuspecting friends. This is not Facebook – snaps don’t have to be perfect, and if you wait for the perfect moment you’ll never get started.
  • Revel in the awkwardness: The worst snaps are awkward-but-trying-to-be-cool. Unless you feel confident that you can actually pull off cool, you’re better off trying to find your niche in the awkward-but-endearing market. This distinction requires brutal self-assessment but I think it’s doable. My favorite snaps (sent and received) are strange and unflattering and embarrassing and objectively terrible. Of course, many people put in a lot of effort to appear effortless, but I think it’s usually pretty obvious when people are trying too hard.
  • Don’t try to hide the oldness and uncoolness: This will be your key differentiator in this market so you should definitely not shy away from it. There’s something oddly subversive about the idea of old and uncool snaps, which I think really fits with the Snapchat ethos. You shouldn’t try to be like everyone else – you should develop your own style. Again, authenticity is really important here. Maybe you could be thematic around family life or parenting, or something like that – viewing those aspects of life through the Snapchat lens would be pretty unique and interesting.
  • Your initial audience should be your most forgiving friends: Your hippest and most judgmental friends should not be your test market here. Start out with your most tolerant friends, the ones who will love you no matter what. Then once you’ve gotten into a groove, feel free to experiment by expanding to cooler potential recipients. I was nervous about this at first but I think people generally like receiving snaps, even if it’s just to laugh at you. If you’re afraid of people laughing at you, just stick with a couple of friends who you know won’t laugh at you and keep hammering them with snaps until you feel more comfortable.

Most importantly: don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself. You almost certainlywill embarrass yourself, in fact. But I don’t mean that in a bad way – if you’re not embarrassing yourself on Snapchat, you’re probably not having fun either.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:​

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