Here’s how to Snapchat like a millennial – if you’re feeling left out

Are you concerned with your story? Not your life story, but your Snapchat story?

Emily Jardine

Published: Updated:

Are you concerned with your story? Not your life story, but your Snapchat story?

The millennial generation lives and breaths on Snapchat, the third most popular social media networking site with over 9,000 snaps shared per second and over 8 billion video views.

You might want to put your head down and stick to your Facebook feed but you can’t ignore a company valued at over $15 billion that hosts spotlights from CNN, National Geographic, People, and Vox, among others.

Forbes estimates that 50 million people currently use Snapchat and the median age of users 18 years old.


Dee Beliveau, manager at a Dubai-based interior design company currently expanding their social media presence, notes most non-millennials’ concerns.

“Snapchat feels like another social media trap. They really haven’t made clear the benefits or how to use it and as most of my circle are not on it, why would I use it?”

But as Snapchat is the fastest growing social network, it’s not a platform that should be quickly dismissed.

So how do you get on the Snapchat train

  1. Download the app. It’s free.
  2. Register for Snapchat. It’s easy. Pick a unique username
  3. Find friends and adds friends. Snapchat has made it extremely easy to add friends - you can just screenshot their username.
  4. Find famous friends. So many celebrities use Snapchat and it’s a great way to keep your Stories page interesting. You can also follow niche celebrities, politicians, musical artists, talk show hosts, and even royals.
  5. Snapchap yourself patting yourself on the back for being part of the Snapchat


Now that you’ve signed up and have followers and followees, it’s time to practice. There are two different ways to communicate on Snapchat. You can send individuals snaps, you can add snaps to your story, which is viewable for 24 hours, or you can do both. Anyone who follows can view your story as often as they want until the 24 hour window expires.

If anyone screenshots a private snap or a snap from your story, you are alerted. Although know that there are jailbreaks and programs that circumvent this so as a rule of thumb, if you don’t want it to exist forever, don’t take a picture of it.


To use Snapchat effectively, meaning that to use it in a way that is enjoyable for you, it’s best to send more snaps than videos. Also be aware that you select the duration of each snap from a minimum of 3 second to a maximum of 10 seconds. Ten seconds is a great rule of thumb because the viewer can always deselect the photos when they’re done viewing, unless of course, it’s a photo that you only want the person to get a glimpse of.


When building your snap story, words of advice collected from millennials themselves include making sure that there aren’t too many videos, keep variety in your snaps, and make sure to use the different filters.

Once you have a few favorite Snapchat friend, see if you can start collecting emojis and start setting records! If you start snapping back and forth with a friend, Snapchat keeps count of the consecutive days. If you reach 100, you get a special emoji. Millennials take their consecutive snap count very seriously, so see if you can keep up.

But, the truth is that you’re not a millennial, so why should you care? Maybe we should leave Snapchat with people who still wear backpacks. But you should care because the app is so popular for a reason: you can share your world with the people you love easily and quickly. Especially, those of us away from family and country, Snapchat can give our friends around the world a view of what we see.


Like anything that’s fun and addictive, Snapchat has its cons too. Most important to highlight is that even though it purports to “delete” photos after they’ve been viewed, there’s no way to ensure that a photo is completely gone. You should consider that every photo you take could last forever.

As Dr. Vanda Corbett, a specialist in Positive Psychology, notes, “Because of the so called deletable texts people are more willing to share more inappropriate images, document more risky behavior, or send personal information that goes beyond safety.”

Perhaps more risky than oversharing, is the negative emotions caused by a false sense of camaraderie and engagement that really leads to what millennials call “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out. and explained by Dr. Corbett,

“Millennials are more concerned with documenting the event instead of actually being in the moment and enjoying it,” which can lead to isolation, decreased self esteem, and pressure that can cause negative body issues.

So, join the millennial craze and snap away, but make sure to do so mindfully so that it enhances your life positively.

Infographic: Snapchat like a millennial
Infographic: Snapchat like a millennial