What a 100-day Snapchat streak taught me about patience

You will receive an across-the-quad, borderline-stalker snap at least once a week

If you can do something for 100 consecutive days, I would say you are a pretty committed individual. You’re probably the kind of person who sticks with those pesky diets and remembers to take your birth control at the same time every day.

I am not one of those people. I am forgetful. I prefer spontaneity to scheduled plans and I can’t stick to a diet to save my life. But this semester, I did something completely out of character. I did something for 100 straight days.

I managed to complete a 100-day Snapchat streak on the first try.

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If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I suggest you climb out from the rock you’ve been living under since Snapchat’s release in 2011 – it’s 2016 people, get it together – and search the web. But if you do understand, then you know how exciting (and nearly impossible) it is to reach this goal.

It’s no joke. It is not a task for the weak or the faint of heart. A snap streak of this variety is a serious commitment. If you can’t keep up, you might as well go ahead and accept the fact that marriage is not in the cards for you. Because every day – for 100 days – you have to reach out and you have to trust that the friend on the other side of that double-chin selfie will honor the commitment you two have made.

If one of you forgets to snap a single day, it’s over. You start back at zero. Progress ruined.

But this seemingly meaningless act, taught a commitment-phobe like myself an interesting lesson about friendship.

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After day 20, it becomes almost involuntary. Your daily conversations begin to take place with selfies instead of words. You’ll use it as a location finder. “Snap me where you are, OK?” will become a common request. You can bet on receiving an across-the-quad, borderline-stalker snap at least once a week – of you, your ex and your mutual frenemies.

You learn to be creative. You learn to keep the conversation interesting. Yes, some days it might literally just be a snap of your bedroom wall or your morning coffee – but you make up for it on the days you send 20 screenshot-able gems.

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And you learn to forgive quickly. A single argument could ruin the streak, and it’s just not worth it. Because after a while, it’s not about the streak anymore. It’s simply about the friendship.

When you do something with someone for 100 days, you quickly realize they know a heck of a lot about you. They know what you look like when you wake up, because of course you send them a makeup-less post-nap selfie. They snap back when all you sent them was a picture of a textbook during finals.

They’ve seen your double chin and your hair in a bun and they still want to see your face on their phone. They see you just as you are – the backstage part of your life, if you will – and they love you the same. Why would you ever want that kind of friendship to end?

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Yes, some days are scary. When it’s 11pm and you’ve heard nothing, you might send 10 in a row. You’ll be desperate to catch her attention before the clock strikes midnight. But soon you’ll learn to trust.

After day 50, the worry tends to disappear. You know she won’t forget you, because you mean just as much to her as she means to you.

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