Have You Been Making These Snapchat Mistakes?

A few weeks ago I let you in on some emoji mistakes you've making, because in today's highly advanced, pictogram-based world, it's crucial to understand how to get the most out of the wondrous devices we call smartphones. Now let's take a look at another, slightly more advanced form of visual communication: Snapchat. Odds are there are at least a few Snapchat mistakes you've been making — but the good news is those mistakes are easy to fix. Upping your Snapchat game is one surefire way to establish yourself as a social media goddess, so why not give it a shot?

Harnessing the power of Snapchat may not be easy, but the good news is that there are a number of active users right now we can look to for inspiration. Consider, for example, NannLL, the self-proclaimed queen of Snapchat, creates fantastic illustrated scenarios using her own photographs as a starting point — her artwork is both insanely creative and absolutely gorgeous. Then there's Thom White, who recreates Disney Princess on Snapchat, but with added flair and panache. Even the L.A. County Museum of Art comes in handy here, with their unexpectedly hilarious Snapchat account providing laugh-out-loud funny captions for photographs of some of the works displayed in the museum.

It's understandable that you would aspire to be like these Snapchat greats — but before you start following in their footsteps, make sure you avoid making these five gaffes.

1. You're posting the same Snap to your Story and sending it to people.

I've had conflicting responses to whether this is OK, but the final verdict always seems to be, "Don't do it." If you're posting a Snap Story, which is basically a Snapchat that anyone can see, you've established that it wasn't intended to go to a specific person. Since it was meant to be viewed by the world at large, it's a bit of a paradox if you post it publicly and also send it to a specific person. Instead, play it cool: Post it in one place and let people come to you, rather than going to them. Plus, no one wants to waste 10 seconds watching your Snap twice, because obviously that time could be used for something productive. Like, you know, watching a different person's Snap Story.

2. You're only sending people plain ol' selfies.

When Snapchat was first becoming popular, people didn't yet know how to take advantage of all the features. As such, selfies — and ugly selfies in particular — became extremely popular. But Snapchat has been around for a while now, giving us ample time to figure the whole thing out, so we have no excuse for just sending people plain old photos of our faces all the time anymore. If you're a chronic face snapper, try adding a caption, emoji, or filter to spruce it up and add some context — but also consider mixing it up and snapping different people, places, or things. It's not that we don't appreciate your glorious visage, but your followers will thank you for some variation.

3. Your Snap Story is over 200 seconds long.

If your Snap Story is around or over 200 seconds, it means you've snapped at least 20 times that day (and significantly more if your individual Snaps are short) — that is, roughly once an hour. Though it's cool that your life is so snappable, it's important not to forget to actually live it, too.

4. You're #SubSnapping people and posting it to your Story.

A #SubSnap, like a #SubTweet, is a Snapchat directed specifically at someone (usually in passive aggressive anger or rage), but posted on your Story. If you must use Snapchat to direct your negative emotion at someone, send it directly to them. The world doesn't really want to hear about your relationship drama.

5. You're constantly posting stories that say "Snap me!" or "Send me snaps!"

I get it. Sometimes you're bored and you want your fellow Snapchatters to send you funny stuff. But hey, here's a thought: If you're on Snapchat anyway and asking for people to get in touch with you, why don't you get in touch with them first? Send some people personalized Snaps and start a conversation that way. Take charge of your snapping!

Now go forth and conquer, Snapchatters. If you avoid these mistakes, take advantage of these hidden Snapchat features, and prioritize creativity, your Snapchat will never die.

Images: Giphy (5)