I just turned 30, and Snapchat makes me feel like a silly old man

snapchat old man makes me feel like a silly

Philosophically speaking, I should like Snapchat. Its ephemeral nature speaks to the privacy hawk side of me. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, Snapchat allows us to share photos and messages digitally without our dastardly data lurking in the corners of our personal histories, ready to jump out and make us look like nits at some fateful point down the road. Snapchat represents a new evolution in Internet communication, its popularity a reaction against the unnatural permanence of online profiles that betray the fleeting essence of life. It allows us to be silly, sullen, and sexy, without (much) risk of looking foolish before the entire world – a feature its high-profile competitors all but lack.

 And yet, despite all its perks, I still can’t bring myself to use Snapchat.

Why don’t I like Snapchat? The only answer I can come up with is that I’ve officially become an angry old man.

That’s not to say I haven’t given it a fair try. My colleagues have tried to get me on the Snapchat love boat – an experiment that lasted roughly four hours before I completely jumped ship. As have my school-age nephews, the ones who let me join their Xbox Live “gang,” and make fun of me for wielding weapons in Black Ops 2 like I have some vicious form of early-onset Parkinson’s. They too stopped messaging me after I failed to respond with my own witty captioned photos.

Nor am I saying that I don’t understand the simple appeal of Snapchat – the ability to combine text messages and photos into a single form that disappears after a short amount of time. It’s clever, quick, fun, and it works – users reportedly send each other more than 350 million snaps per day, a number that is sure to increase thanks to its new Snapchat Stories feature. I totally get it.

So what’s my deal? Why don’t I like Snapchat? The only answer I can come up with is that I’ve officially become an angry old man. 

Snapchat ScreenshotAs a tech-savvy 30-year-old, I never thought the day would come when I would reject a useful technology simply due to some gut reaction that turns me off. If I just managed to stay in the know, to keep my mind limber with the technological advancements coming down the pipe, I’d remain ahead of the curve. But Snapchat proved me wrong.

Rather than remain nimble and accepting of new forms of communication, my scumbag brain has decided to start constructing a wall that blocks out the new and the cool. If young people are using it, some wrinkled part of me wants to stand on a street corner, waving my cane in the air, screaming about “these damn kids!” and “in my day!”

Meanwhile, the part of me that hasn’t already started picking out coffin designs realizes just how ridiculous I sound railing against new technologies. Snapchat may have started as a “sexting” app, but it has clearly evolved since those days, and is maturing into something far more useful to mainstream tech users. There is no good reason to reject Snapchat out of hand – but I have, despite myself.

The part of me that hasn’t already started picking out coffin designs realizes just how ridiculous I sound railing against new technologies.

When you’re young, it seems so strange when older generations fail to get on board with emerging technology and services. Perhaps their brains have just deteriorated to a point that renders them incapable of comprehending new ways of doing things, you think. Maybe they’re just set in their ways, rejecting change out of fear. But now, having set foot on the other side, I see that neither of those explanations tell the whole story. No – the reason I reject Snapchat is not because I fear it or don’t understand how to use it. It’s because I simply don’t give a damn anymore – that’s what scares me.

In itself, avoiding Snapchat isn’t a big deal. I’m not missing out on some communication revolution or important moment in human history. People can use Snapchat, or not. It’s just a dumb app. Whatever. Who cares? But Snapchat isn’t what’s at stake here – instead, it’s this notion that I will remain forever young, forever able to gracefully jump on the bandwagons (self-driving cars?) of technology that have begun to streak past me at increasing speeds and in ever greater numbers.

So enjoy new technology while you can, kids. Because the day that you give up, sit back, and allow yourself to get left behind may arrive sooner than you can imagine.

Lead image courtesy of grafvision/Shutterstock

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Smart Home

4 small appliances that have changed the way we cook food (for the better)

These are exciting times for home cooks seeking to advance or simplify their technique in the kitchen, thanks in part to four small appliances that have made a splash in the past few years. Here’s why you should consider buying them.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Features

Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out

Upset at Netflix for raising its rates? We don't blame you. Nobody likes to pay more for anything -- even if they love that thing. But you really should be thanking the streaming entertainment giant. The hike in prices is a necessary and…
Mobile

Bezel-less phones are terrible for typing on, and it’s only going to get worse

Bezel-less smartphone screens look great, and foldable smartphones are an exciting part of the mobile future; but we don't like where the typing experience is heading because of these two trends.
Gaming

Blizzard's dismal updates to 'Diablo 3' make 'Path of Exile' the better option

'Diablo 3' season 16, the 'Season of Grandeur,' is live. It attempts to shake up the stale meta-game with a minor tweak, but it falls far short of what fans of the franchise want. Better games like 'Path of Exile' are eating Blizzard's…
Wearables

A wearable may save your life, thanks to A.I. and big data. Here’s how

Wearables are morphing from devices that send you smartphone notifications and track your fitness into gadgets that can monitor your health -- and maybe even save your life.
Gaming

'Wargroove' is a delightful tactics game that lets you recruit cute armored pups

Wargroove is a fantastical Advance Wars successor with beautiful pixelated visuals and rewarding grid-based combat. In addition to a meaty campaign, Wargroove has an intuitive map editor that lets you create robust campaigns of your own.
Smart Home

Will everything from lamps to fridges be spying on me? Yes, and I’m creeped out

With the debut of Panasonic’s HomeHawk lamp with built-in video camera, should we be concerned that everything -- from couches to dishwashers -- could soon be spying on us? Here’s why the answer to that question is yes.
Computing

Debunking Dark Mode: Here’s why it won’t improve your laptop’s battery life

Dark Mode is known to improve battery life for certain devices, like a smartphone with an OLED screen. Does that apply to laptops, as well? To find out we tested two laptops, one running Windows and one running MacOS.