By Will Dursens

One of the biggest uses of the internet these days is some thing called Snapchat! For a long while this guy had no clue and never even had it on my phone or computer either one.

But after a while I discovered my grandkids and even a few of my adult kids were using Snapchat to share photo’s and even short videos of what may be going on in their life as they were walking through it.

So, it came time for this Papa to maybe think about checking it out and that I did.

According to Lifewire.com, Snapchat is:

  • both a messaging platform and a social network that can’t be used from the regular web and only exists as a mobile app that one can download to their iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Snapchat is an app that truly does change how people interact with friends compared to most popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Snapchat is highly popular with the youngest smartphone users, including teens and young adults while not everyone gets it – in particular older adults (such as myself).

If you go to the Snapchat.com website, they will tell that:

  • Snapchat opens right to the camera screen so one can send a quick photo or short (10 second) video of what’s going on at that moment in time without having to type out a whole long message.
  • Snapchat.com claims it’s like having your best friends at your fingertips as you can just tap who you would like to share with, and they will receive it individually.

Now all this sounds kind of dandy even to an old guy like me, especially if it helps me stay in contact with those blessed grandkids of mine while giving me a chance to still be a part of their life without being nearby.

So this ‘Grumpy Gramps’ took the plunge and downloaded the Snapchat app onto my smart phone a long while ago, began enjoying the occasional quick pics or short videos showing things my grandkids and a couple of my adult kids were doing – and then it happened, I realized some of the more treasured or precious pics I would see would like disappear shortly after I viewed them! What the heck is that, especially if I wanted to show them later to my wife so she wouldn’t feel left out as she has just an old style flip-phone (or as I call it, the Star Trek version cell phone) without the capacity of the Snapchat app.

So, I went looking for answers and found that Snapchat.com does reference the phenomenon that I call the disappearing pics.

According to their website any texts, pics or videos sent are deleted by default shortly after they have been viewed. But it also says one can save them with one tap of the screen or a screenshot.

Lifewire.com explains it more in depth by pointing out that unlike other social networks that will keep your content online forever unless you delete them, Snapchat’s disappearing content makes online interaction feel more human and a little more grounded in the present moment. There’s not as much anxiety about whether or not a person posted a perfect photo while wondering about how many likes or comments it might receive because the photos and/or videos will disappear within a few seconds and the only interaction you may receive back will be a photo, video or quick chat reply.

So here in lies my problem.

I have some grandkids and that now includes a less than two-month old great-grandson for whom I love seeing pics and videos of, many times with the idea of wanting to save them for future reference or a collection of them which I am hoping to put into a picture/video book.

Problem is that my Android phone doesn’t seem to be picking up the idea that I should be able to be saving these pics and/or short videos with just a tap or attempt to keep as a screenshot.

That is when my Snapchat visit becomes a Slapchat moment, because to me it is like slapping me in the face saying either I am just not smart enough or just too slow for this app. And trust me, Grumpy Gramps does not like the feel of a slap in the face.

At first I thought maybe it was just because Grumpy Gramps here wasn’t smart enough to figure it out, but just a couple of weeks ago both my daughter and son were here at the same time (something which happens very rarely) and I kind of began to whine about not being able to save some of the pics of the new great-grandson from Snapchat to both show Nana (my wife) and to save for a great-grandson (his name is Linden) picture album.

Both my adult kids spent about five to ten minutes playing with my phone before walking away and saying they had no clue.

So here I am, trying my best to enjoy the wonderful pics and occasional short videos posted on Snapchat by my grandkids, only to get frustrated to know I only have a few seconds to enjoy them because if I leave the app – they will disappear forever!

Hang on a minute.

Oh, my goodness, my granddaughter just posted a new short video of Linden rolling his head around like he was baby milk drunk (her words, not mine). Holy cow, how absolute precious he is with his eyes open and his nose that is cute as a bug’s ear – just want to give him a big great-Papa kiss.

And then it is gone, and my anxiety sets in of how wonderful it would be to be if I could’ve saved that brief video of Linden being the darling that he is. But I am unable to do that so not only does Nana miss out, but we both miss out of being able to save it and then go in later on and view the pic and/or video over and over again when we want to.

And that is where I am at today, loving the heck out of Snapchat for those brief moments of sharing from my grandkids and even a couple of my adult kids, only to become oh so very frustrated because of the resulting disappearance act the moment will be.

Thank goodness I can still remember well and have the ability to put those brief moments into a little box of memories I now have within the new little drawer in my mind that is marked Linden – my great-grandson!

With that – hugs, prayers, blessings and happy thoughts from Grumpy Gramps.

(Copyright@2020, CrossDove Writers – no part of this posting may be printed, copied or used without written permission by CrossDove Writers and Grumpy Gramps.)