By now you’re probably sick and tired of reading my posts about Snapchat as I work out loud through using this tool which is becoming my personal learning channel, education broadcast and creativity expression.
Truth be told, it is unlike any other social medium I’ve come across because using it makes me HAPPY. I think it’s because it allows me to express myself in my natural manner (ie I don’t have to be so professional and serious all the time) and that Snapchat community is nice to each other.
I can’t describe this feeling exactly but I think it may come from the many one-to-one banter and conversations within the Snapchat community – all through face-to-face or audio interactions. Referring to each other’s snaps also helps build that community.
Some snappers make me laugh, they make me smile, educate and inspire me. There are so many people out there, microbiologists, dentists, comedians, producers, social media marketers, consultants, academics, real estate agents, mechanical engineers who I would never have come into contact with (and some from non-English speaking countries which give me an alternative and diverse view) and who are using it to show and share their work.
We see them for who they are – not hidden behind a corporate suit or a professional avatar.
Also, Snapchat is a more creative medium so you craft your message, you add music to it, you add colour, annotate the image, use filters and emojis. You create your own unique snaps to communicate things most important to you in your own style and manner.
Another reason why I’m happy is that none of these people are talking about the circular arguments of 70-20-10, learning management systems or the state of Learning and Development, however, ALL of them are openly and actively sharing what they’re learning and working on.
This makes such as a refreshing change because no matter how much Learning and Development can toss around the argument that their workforce needs encouragement, support and hand holding in personalised learning within social networks, the fact of the matter is that there are millions of people out there who are already doing it – of all ages, from all countries.
Don’t delude yourself that your workforce is not on social networks or don’t understand how to use them. Of course, you’ll find some people who need that help but it’s likely that within your organisation, you have employees who are influencers in their own right – who are highly connected across various networks, have their own communities, who publicly show and share their work and learning and are expert users of social media platforms. Do you know who they are? How are you engaging these people in your organisational strategy?
Chances are you may not be. Unless you’re in it (ie social networks) to see for yourself, you’ll not understand the extent of it or how creatively people (and especially your internal influencers) are using social networks, tools and platforms for their purposes and context – so you’re probably behind the eight-ball already.
People are out there learning and working in public. They’re talking about what they’re doing, what they’re working on. They’re sharing resources, references, posts, links, videos, books, people to follow with others – and they’re doing it because it just makes them feel good, to help others and in their own unique way.
We see them succeed, we see them fail. We see their face, we hear their voice, we see what they’re seeing, we hear their thinking and reasoning and then we can choose to engage in conversation with them to learn and understand more.
So when people ask me why I’m so into Snapchat, it’s less about ‘chasing the shiny new thing’.
It’s more about the fact that this platform has allowed me to broaden and diversify my network (despite the discoverability being difficult but I hope that Snapchat soon changes this), I’ve engaged in conversations beyond topics that I hear often in my own Learning and Development circles; exposed me to the ways and thinking of a young generation as well as allow me to express myself creatively in a community.
- Bayer, J. B., Ellison, N., Schoenebeck, S. Y., & Falk, E. B.Volume 19, Issue 7, 2016, Sharing the Small Moments: Ephemeral Social Interaction on Snapchat. Information, Communication & Society.
“Our experience sampling surveys showed that Snapchat is associated with more positive affect, but lower social support, than other channels. Our interviews clarified how affordances, practices, and expectations – around ephemerality, in particular – result in sharing the small moments on Snapchat, rather than the big moments seen on Facebook. Together, the two current studies help to delineate Snapchat’s position in the social media ecology: a lightweight channel for sharing spontaneous experiences with trusted ties”.
(Interesting – in my experience the social support was actually more immediate and more personal once the trust was built because you directly connect to that person one-to-one).
“Indeed, our quantitative data demonstrated that face-to-face was the only form of communication viewed as more pleasant than Snapchat. Our interviews revealed that requiring users to share proximal content constrained them from curating to the same degree that they could on other channels. The temporal boundary set on sharing – content must be set in the present (i.e., non-archived) – seemed to decrease the stakes of sharing for our participants. Consequently, Snapchat circumvents the self-presentational concerns that influence the user experience of other media (e.g., Vitak, 2012) and thus perhaps encourages more authentic and less filtered exchanges (see also Katz & Crocker, 2015)”
In my experience, sharing is done in other ways. Usually through the promotion of people’s snap codes on Follow Friday or in people’s snap stories. That is, I have noticed that if people learn something new, they will share that learning and the person’s snap code to their viewers – so in effect, snappers are cross promoting each other actively on their snaps.
“Snapchat use was also strongly tied to close relationships, which may amplify the positive emotional experiences described above. Social interactions in general, and interactions with close others especially (Forgas, Bower, & Krantz, 1984), are associated with positive mood.”
“Participants pointed to the ephemerality of the content as focusing their attention on the current interaction. This increased attention to the present may help explain why Snapchat interactions were associated with more positive mood than several other platforms. Although our data do not speak to the direction of causality, substantial research in psychology suggest that present focus –concentrating on what one is doing as opposed to the contemplating the past or future (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010; Langer, 1989) – is associated with feelings of reward and positive mood. Furthermore, the limited time may amplify the affective response to a given message because of its perceived scarcity (Lynn, 1991).”