I’ve mourned the loss of some inconsequential internet ephemera this month. Sweet things, curiously hollow ones, and all without a doubt insignificant. No matter how insignificant, I can’t help but feel sad when I discover that content I’d expected would last forever has passed on. Even if I know that much of it was designed to last for only a short while, the feeling persists. Yet for every deleted tweet and Vine that I wish was still accessible, there is a Snapchat that I wish had disappeared as intended. This brings me to my final point of this month and maybe ever—if Snapchat is supposed to be about living in the moment, why can I still watch DJ Khaled lost at sea?
On December 14th, 2015, months into his motivational, unofficial Snapchat residency, music producer and radio personality DJ Khaled jet skied to Rick Ross’s house in the afternoon and then got lost in the water in the dark of night with only his phone flash and unflappable demeanor to guide him. Despite his precarious situation, he documented the trip on Snapchat in impressively earnest detail, captioning each snap with the pray emoji, an inspirational message, or a genuine plea for someone who knows him to call his partner Zay Zee and tell her he was lost at sea on his jet ski. More than two years later, you can watch the whole thing on Youtube, although, to be perfectly clear, I think that is wrong.
Vine is (was!) an app that you could put six-second videos on for what I imagined would be forever. In the days since its demise (January 17, 2017), Vine’s website has become a supposedly searchable archive of Vines, but I’ve tried and failed to find a specific Vine at least… two times, which seems like the appropriate number of times to try such a thing before abandoning my efforts completely. This is all to say, call me crazy, but sometimes YouTube is the best way to watch a Vine. YouTube, however, is a stupid way to watch a Snap. Snapchat’s whole reason for existing (for now!), I thought, was as a platform where you can broadcast photos and videos just once, or for up to 24 hours if it’s a Story. “Delete is our default 👻” it says on the Snapchat support page, which I like to think is a place to find the truth. So I don’t think we should be allowed to watch Snaps in perpetuity on Youtube.
If you search the stunning combination of words “Kylie Jenner snapchat instagram” you will find a Kylie Jenner Snapchat Instagram account (duh!) that posits to be “the #1 source of ALL Kylie Jenner Snapchats [sic] and MORE! 👑” which I find bizarre because wouldn’t Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat be the number one source of all Kylie Jenner Snaps? As an avid user of Instagram stories, a direct descendant-slash-rip-off of Snapchat where videos live for only 24 hours in your Instagram feed, I find that I don’t want my stories to live on forever without my consent. The fleetingness gives me freedom to be more unhinged than I might be in a permanent post, to ask for help whether it’s genuine or in jest. If I was lost at sea and had documented it in a story, I would want my lost-at-sea-ness to be lost at sea. Or is that just me? Someone call Zay Zee and tell her we’re lost in 2015.