I’ve written many thinkpieces in my time. I’ve even written some thinkpieces about Snapchat. I don’t like to claim I’m an “expert,” because it’s much more modest to write a sentence like this claiming “I don’t like to claim I’m an ‘expert.’” See? You’re probably already assuming I’m an expert, and I didn’t even say it.
There we go.
OK. So now you know I’m not not an expert. What next? So glad you asked, dear friend. As we’re all aware, the thinkpiece is perhaps the most rigorously edited, statistically grounded, capital-I Important molecule of #content on the Internet dot com. Snapchat, for its part, is the like the 2015 version of Tinder of Uber of AirBnB, which itself is essentially the Whisper of Yik Yak. (With geotagging, of course.)
The Perfect Snapchat Thinkpiece Angle
As such, you’ll need to pitch your editor on an extremely unique, highly provocative angle to distinguish your essay from the rest. Daunting!
But never you fear, my pals. In many cases, your editor will have no fucking clue what Snapchat even is, because in many cases, your editor is at least one year older than you, and therefore baffled by any social media platform that arrived after Instagram. In other cases, you won’t have an editor at all, because WHO NEEDS MEDDLING EDITORS TO STAND BETWIXT CHEAP UNIQUES AND THE INSATIABLE METRICS FURNACE? Not you, maybe.
Highly original, scalding hot Snapchat takes include, but are not limited to:
- How to explain Snapchat to your parents
- How you became addicted to Snapchat
- How to explain your addiction to your parents using Snapchat
- Why you love Snapchat more than your parents, who are addicts
- How you became addicted to your parents, who love Snapchat
- I Thought This Couple Loved Their Child. Then I Saw Them Open Snapchat. What Happened Next Was Heartbreaking… WOW!
Do you like any of these options? No? Hey, by all means fuck off kemosabe. Enjoy blogging about heirloom grapefruit for the rest of your twenties. I’m just trying to share my gift. Yeah, bro. Take your brokedick clicks to /r/circlejerk.
Sorry about that, you guys. We don’t need losers like kemosabe. Don’t let his can’t-do attitude bring you down! Let’s keep moving.
The Perfect Snapchat Thinkpiece Lede
Once you’ve decided on an angle, you’ll need a lede, a word that rhymes with bidet and has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Remember topic sentences? Those are ledes. Remember conclusion paragraphs? Those are not ledes. Thesis statements? Sort of ledes. Faithfully reproduced replica lithographs of President Buchanan? 100% ledes.
See? It’s easy, once you get the hang of it!
Confusion is a critical component to any successful lede. Your Snapchat thinkpiece should be fucked since Jump Street, just like Jonah Hill (assuming people continuously sex him following his tour-de-force performance. He was absolutely chilling!)
Here are some examples of ledes you might write to suck the reader down the drain of your piece and into the interminable plumbing of “related content” modules and sticky share tools, never to be seen again:
How to explain Snapchat to your parents
Mom? Dad? I have… I have something to tell you. No, it’s not butt stuff. In some ways, it’s worse. Remember when I was a kid, and you caught me playing with a bootleg Tomagachi when I was supposed to be doing my piano lessons? Alright, Snapchat is nothing like that.
There it is, my ducklings. That’s a superbly baffling, totally misleading lede for your Snapchat thinkpiece. Look at it. Chew on it. Yeah, just like that, President Buchanan. Roll it around in y0ur mouth, then open up and sho— uh, sorry. Wrong window. Let me just buckle my belt… OK. Ahem. Where were we? Oh!
The Perfect Snapchat Thinkpiece Body
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about thinkpieces. No one actually reads the middle of them. This corresponds to a big secret about the World Wide Web: no one actually reads anything. This poses quite a paradox, because that means you aren’t reading this right now. Crazy, right? I know. Shut up.
Just wing something in there and focus on your kicker. Like this:
In terms of social media love affairs, I’ve had a few.
I never danced with MySpace — I was too young, and still fumbling through the proto-social landscape of chatrooms & AOL Instant Messenger. The first time I fell hard was for Facebook. That was lust, mostly. Twitter, though — Twitter was my first love, and to this day, that passion still burns with the fire of 140 characters. Instagram has been the safe & solid marriage, so reliably superficial that it becomes its own sort of substance.
Then, of course, there’s Snapchat. I don’t yet understand what I have with this little yellow app. To borrow the relationship status that made Facebook famous, when it comes to me and Snapchat: it’s complicated.
Actually, put that last part on a separate line. Line breaks will make your thinkpiece look artfully constructed, like a rustic soup & half-sandwich combo from Panera Bread. Here, check this:
…when it comes to me and Snapchat:
Damn, that is refined. That is some tastefully laid-out shit right there.
The Perfect Snapchat Thinkpiece Conclusion
It’s time to start paying attention again. This is your kicker, and you’d better believe this is where your Snapchat thinkpiece will succeed or fail. BELIEVE IT! YOU’D BETTER!
As any good Snapchat thought-leader knows, the ultimate graf is the best place to introduce a completely unsupported, extremely complex ideology to this fiery heap of #socialfirst thinkpiecery.
Consider a socio-economic argument. Or how about #Benghazi? Perhaps a gendered critique of problematic sex-positive wireframes would suit your fancy?
That last sentence was mostly gibberish, and that’s just fine. Remember: the key here is not to “make” “sense.” Your goal is to boldly state an outlandish connection between Snapchat’s rise and some vaguely familiar cultural narrative. Attach meaning. Stoke outrage. This is last thing people will read. Tack your very hottest, most ludicrously unfounded observation to the very last line. Like, for example, this:
Is Snapchat changing the way people live history? It’s hard to say, because it took me six years to graduate college and I’m getting paid to write this in deadstock Hoobastank concert merch. But if I had to stab blindly at the most casually offensive way to conclude this Snapchat thinkpiece, I guess I’d say this: Bush did 9/11.
This story originally appeared on Medium, and is completely and utterly deranged.