Dear Snapchat
SUPREMO - Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2016 - 9:00am

I don’t understand you, but I’m going to conquer you. Up until now, I don’t get the purpose of recording something only for it to disappear forever. It’s like logging in for work with invisible ink. Or showing up at an event but without proof because the file had been erased. Or writing this love letter, only for it to disappear after you’ve read it.

Waxing philosophical, is this a sign of the times? The way everything is moving too fast it almost disappears? In a snap. That’s why it’s called Snapchat, I guess. Now you see it, now you don’t.

My snapchat account was registered by my younger cousin (okay, niece) for me because she wanted to send me quick snaps of her life in university away from home. She taught me how to take snaps and write random stuff on my story and have fun with it. “I like it coz here you can be ugly and no one will judge. Instagram is too best-foot-forward for me,” said someone to me. What’s wrong with choosing the right filters to brighten a photo?

The point of the matter

At a random club I went to in New York, I spotted some teenagers taking vids of each other. “Why do you like it if it’s gonna be gone tomorrow?” They answered, pointblank, “But that’s the point.” I still didn’t get it. What for are good memories if they are just going to vanish into thin air? It’s the emotional equivalent of a blackout the next day after a drinking binge. Hmmm, maybe that’s the point. It’s okay — because whatever happens, it’s all gonna be forgotten tomorrow?

One time, one teen star asked me if I had Snapchat. “Of course, I do! Check it out @officialtimyap.” She looks at it and finds no snaps. “That’s impossible! I took a lot and put it in my story.” I was panicking. “The question is, when? Of course, they’re not here anymore.” Lesson learned.

Woke up one day and all of a sudden, everyone on social media  was like “Follow me on Snapchat.” There goes the popularity contest again. This competitive spirit is what fosters social media anyway. And when you mention the word “competitive,” my blood begins to boil.

So here I am trying to tinker with my Snapchat while on a trip to Europe, walking around the mall, exploring some place new and I start looking like I’m just staring at a mirror, making faces and just taking snaps. Lots of it. And just sending away. Here on this snappy universe, it’s okay to flood. It sorta edits itself so you’re safe from social media etiquette hounds.

Thrill of the Expiry

“We saw you on Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike’s Snapchat,” said someone who follows these big-time DJ superstars. This was all the way at the MTV European Awards in Milan. And proceeds to take a screen grab of that moment where I was taking a selfie with the DJ duo like a teenage fangirl.  People on Snapchat are quick. You have to be. “Coz this message will terminate in 10, 9, 8...” There’s that thrill of the expiration date. If Instagram or Facebook immortalizes your memories, Snapchat gives it Alzheimer’s.

Just the other day, an 11-year-old girl went up to me to tell me she was following me on Snapchat. And I thought to myself, “What am I putting there that might interest her?” I was happy though that my snaps delighted this kid who looked more of an adult to me.

At the same MTV European Awards show where I was doing the red carpet coverage, every presenter was posting snaps of themselves on the show, walking on the red carpet, greeting fans, talking selfies, etc. But I can imagine it can be tiring for an artist to oblige to everything. Now, aside from the usual barrage of interviews from traditional media, artists would have to contend with this: “This is for my instagram, pose!” “This one’s for our YouTube channel, say something!” “This one’s for our Snapchat, do something silly!”

Voyeur and Subject

There was this big DJ who came to town recently and he posted a couple of snaps and Pinoys, being the quick picker- uppers that they are, spotted the underwear (as outerwear — yes, it’s one of those) of a woman in a snap of his. Immediately, they put two and two together and identified who it was, just based on the top that was left at his dressing room while he was brushing his teeth.

It’s a voyeuristic world we live in and everyone takes turns being voyeur and subject. Yes, the lines have been blurred, but I didn’t know it was going to disappear.

So while I’m at it, I’m going to take a Snapchat of me writing this article, even if I know if will be gone tomorrow — the snap will, but this article...won’t.

* * *

More snaps and more on Instagram, Twitter and snapchat @officialtimyap.


Supreme on Snapchat


Tim Yap



David Milan


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