Since becoming an app on the Apple App Store, Snapchat has gone through many major changes. We no longer have a visible Top 3 best friends, Stories were added and there are now face filters and games. Heck, some even watch TV through Snapchat. That being said, even though this article was published in October of 2014, it remains just as relevant today, December 2019. The latest iteration of Snapchat Best Friends (Eight now, instead of three) within a profile its causing just as much drama as the original public three best friends.
Snapchat has removed best friends in January 2015. More here.
My parents always told me to choose my friends wisely, and while I normally shrug off their advice, this is one of the few statements that has really stuck with me. You are who you surround yourself with, and this is especially the case as an adapting young adult.
However, following this advice gets confusing when you find yourself surrounded by a thousand online “friends.” Who even are your real friends? In what context is this statement applicable? The ones you hang out with in real life, of course, count as your real friends. But what about the people you text but don’t see very often? Or those you mainly interact with on Facebook? How about the people you Snapchat?
I could launch into an extensive analysis on who we should consider to be a “friend,” but for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Snapchat. Or more specifically, your Snapchat “best friends.”
Being a best friend is the ultimate title and the most unbreakable of relationships. Being someone’s best friend means you are their priority. Because this is our preconceived notion of the term, it is only understandable that we put weight on who everyone’s Snapchat “best friends” are, otherwise known as their top three friends.
Snapchat best friends are described by Snapptips:
Of the many features of Snapchat, the Best Friends list is the most talked about. And there’s a good reason why. It is both loved and hated almost in the same measure; loved because it allows easy access to people you exchange snaps with regularly, and hated because this list is displayed on your profile and can be seen by anyone who views your profile.
As a serial Snapchatter, I have learned that your best friends list can have serious unintended implications. Because the names are available to every single friend you have on Snapchat, there is no hiding who you are communicating with via the social app. This list not only signifies who you’re selfie-ing, but it oftentimes comes with the assumption that you are communicating with your top three outside of Snapchat as well over texting, Facebook, real life, etc.
I would also argue that Snapchat is a flirtatious app by nature. In fact, it is speculated that the app was originally created for people who wanted to send nude photos that wouldn’t come back to haunt them in the future. The technological age has not only given us a million channels to communicate through, but it has also given us infinite more channels to flirt through as well. Snapchat is definitely one of these channels.
With a general understanding of Snapchat and the best friend list, the next step is to look at how this feature can single handedly infuse drama into your relationship.
Nothing tells you your significant other is untrustworthy like a Snapchat top three full of only people from the opposite sex, and lets hope you made the cut. We all love the argument “it is only a harmless selfie” when we are caught in the act of having a best friend on the list that we probably shouldn’t have. But millennials know, the list unfortunately matters because of what it implies.
Snapchat is the ultimate in-between because it feels harmless to send someone a ten second snap of you or your surroundings. It can seem like a safe way to have at least minimal contact with the opposite sex outside of your significant other, without really crossing any lines. But if someone is making your top three, chances are you’re reaching out a little too much for a taken girl/guy.
Because Snapchatting is associated with flirting, guy/girlfriends oftentimes get very upset to see that their significant other has been “in flirtation with,” otherwise known as Snapchatting, other people. It feels petty to start an argument over who your boyfriend has been sending selfies to, but your boyfriend’s shocking top three can be a real cause of distress.
Seeing someone else in his top three can bring up a multitude of questions that had been completely off of your radar before. Questions like, is he bored with our relationship, does he wish he could see (insert other girl on best friends list) more often, or is he cheating on me, suddenly start popping into your head.
The natural next step is to then launch into an internal monologue berating yourself for being so psycho because it is his Snapchat best friend list for God’s sake. Our generation’s stigma that the best friends list is trivial holds true until you find yourself in this situation, and then it doesn’t seem so casual anymore!
I think the largest source of controversy over the best friends list stems from when you catch your significant other Snapchatting his/her ex. They may as well go ahead and get back together with the person if they are snapping each other incessantly. Yes, it is that big of a deal. Alternatively, if you would like to be rational about this situation, you have to at least admit that finding your boyfriend’s ex in his top three would be more than mildly disturbing. Even if you consider yourself Supergirl from Netflix, you will still be stressed about your bf talking to other girls.
All of this being said, I cannot tell you how many arguments between couples have been started due to a Snapchat best friend list. I know my own relationships have been filled with arguments over Snapchat infidelities. I was typically the serial offender, and my favorite retort to my boyfriend was that he was being absolutely ridiculous for caring about such a thing. However, I knew deep down that had the tables been reversed, it would have been World War III.
A questionable Snapchat best friend list may not be the end all be all for a relationship. However, it can definitely add to already existing tensions. It can also be an indicator that your guy/girl may not be being faithful. As crazy as all of this sounds, we don’t usually Snapchat people we don’t want attention from. Snapchatting isn’t like a text, where it is awkward when you don’t answer. Many snaps are sent out in bulk and responses are not expected. So to earn a spot in someone’s top three, there has been considerable effort put in.
It’s your decision whether your boy/girlfriend’s sketchy best friend list is worthy of an argument. But it is a topic that seems to be plaguing millennial relationships. Will this argument be infiltrating our marriages as well? That is one thing that I am very curious to see.