Sometimes, I feel all old and cantankerous, because even as a digital strategist, I’ve resisted Snapchat for a while. I signed on early on and never really liked it. It was like Google Wave (remember that?) for me.
You get on Snapchat and post video or pics of moments in your day, and they disappear after 24 hours. I did a “Maintain a Good Online Reputation” workshop for high school students last week and I asked them what they love about the platform. They all agreed that they get to see behind-the-scenes of their friends and they love that it disappears and that everyone “keeps it real.”
I get it, but meh. Many of my friends love Snapchat too. People who love Snapchat are really passionate about their love of Snapchat. They’re the Berners of social media. They try SO HARD to make Snapchat fetch happen, and you tell them “I’m sure Snapchat is cool, but it’s not for me.” And they’re all BUT WHY NOT?? SNAPCHAT IS WHERE I AM MOST MYSELF. YOU ARE MISSING OUT.
The reason why I can’t get down with it is because everyone is boring as shit on there, even people who are interesting in real life. You know why? It’s because everyone thinks they now have their own reality TV show, and unfortunately, there are no editors. So we get to see their entire lives, including the mundane moments that I wish I could cut out and fast forward to the season finale already.
EVERYONE IS SO BORING ON THERE.
Why do I need to watch you walk to the bus stop? Yes, I’ve watched DJ Khaled’s Snaps. Him and his “keys” got old for me real quick. I have installed and deleted SnapChat from my phone 3 times. I have given it chances. Peer pressure keeps making me want to like it, because surely if it’s so dope, I’m missing out. RIGHT?
I keep seeing people posting pics of themselves with various Snapchat filters over their faces, because those are apparently really fun. Again: meh.
Anywho, I wake up today and see Bob Marley trending on Twitter. I click on his name and the first thing is an article about how Snapchat created a Bob Marley filter for 4/20.
Anytime fuckshit like this happens, I ALWAYS ask “where was the adult in the room?” In case you wanna know why it pays to have a Black person with sense on your startup’s team, see: Snapchat’s Bob Marley filter. That person needs to be in a leadership position too. They can’t just be the coffee fetcher.
Things have approval processes and systems and multiple eyes on them before they go out. It usually takes a team from inception to execution. Was there no one who pushed back against it to say “Hey guys. This might not go off well because it’s essentially Blackface?” Or was that person drowned out by those who were enthused that now the users of their platform could place a brown tint over their face, with locs and a rastafarian hat? Someone was all “NO. They’ll be too high too care, because it’s 4/20! LET’S DO IT!”
Electronic blackface is still blackface. And this filter is telling folks (who skew young) that they can do it as a gag for a day. You know all types of pale folks gon be doing this all jolly throughout the day because they have gotten permission. BOB MARLEY IS JAMAICAN AND HE LIKED TO SMOKE WEED SO WEAR HIS MASK FOR 4/20 DAY. Nah, son. As if all the man did was smoke weed. Disrespectful.
On Twitter, I was told by someone that the Marley Estate wanted this, and they made an ad buy to make it happen. Again, this is why I said a Black person WITH SENSE is needed. That piece is necessary. His estate seems to monetize his image by any means necessary, but still. I comes down to checks and balances. People see checks and balance gets busy. But that hasn’t been substantiated yet.
Ultimately, Snapchat thought this was the move to make, and they gotta get the whole hell outta here with that boolsheet. Out of gahtdamb order.