Thanksgiving. Ugh. The one time a year you have to sit with family and pretend to care more about them than what’s on your phone. Here we go again, another three hours listening to ol’ uncle Seth drone on about the chick from pool yoga. Goddamit Uncle Seth, swallow your pride and get on Tinder already.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to tune out our well-meaning relatives, engaging instead with the vibrant world of smartphone applications just an arm’s reach away. But alas, the minimal courtesy expected in today’s society still somehow includes keeping your device hidden in large family settings. In time, these backwards societal norms will change.
But for now, there's one tried-and-true way to use your device’s most important app, Snapchat, while maintaining the peace with the only people in the world who love you. Read carefully, and you can keep hitting that social media dopamine spigot throughout the evening even though your phone should technically be in your pocket. If you follow these rules to the letter, you should be okay. But we make no promises.
Step 1: Grease the wheels by faceswapping grandma with a potato
Your grandma very likely grew up in the age of the flip phone, a time where rudimentary games like Snake were the most sophisticated form of digital distraction (this why it was called the “Great Depression”). Grandma will therefore likely be least favorable to your phone’s presence at the meal, and so it’s damn important to win her over from the very start. You can charm granny into Snapchat acceptance by demonstrating the great strides phones have made since her childhood. Wow her with Snapchat’s sophisticated features, especially the one that will superimpose your face on a vegetable, and superimpose a vegetable on your face. Creating a granny potato-face is sure to delight her and the crowd, as will a potato granny-face. These giggles, mind you, will plow the way for more Snapchat usage.
Step 2: Use the “What I’m Thankful For” line to ream Facebook, Snapchat’s feature-thief
As the meal goes on, you'll be presented with an opportunity to address the table, providing a few critical minutes to speak uninhibited about what makes you thankful. Some family members will use this opportunity to lie blatantly, proclaiming they’re thankful for each other or even a happy marriage. You, on the other hand, will tell the truth, explaining there's little to be thankful for in a world Facebook can rip off Snapchat’s features with impunity. Here is your script:
“I, [insert your name], am thankful for our great technological warrior Evan Spiegel, whose bold camera-first social messaging format changed the world, making goofy selfies not only socially acceptable, but expected. I am thankful for Mr. Spiegel’s latest spark of genius, Spectacles, a revolutionary product that has assured the great battleship Snap Inc. a sea of earned media in the run up to its iconic initial public offering. But I must also express my deep disappointment in once-great social giants Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom, former role models who have dishonored social media by duplicating Snapchat’s features the same way cousin Allison copied her best friend Marge’s math homework every morning for one year before getting expelled. Geez Allison. My fellow family members, what makes humanity great is our ability to push past the barriers constructed by those seeking to divide us and find common ground in our love of documenting our lives ephemerally on social media — sometimes even with puppy filters, as is our god-given right. Thank you Snapchat for making it possible for us to come together as a people, I am grateful to share this planet with you.”
Step 3: Chat up the IPO
Cousin Nelson, who nobody really likes, is feeling pretty good thanks to a finance job that has him looking at spreadsheets 85 hours a week. Nelson, who recently learned to do his own laundry at the age of 31, will likely spend the evening asking you questions like “I have so much money but so little time to spend it, what should I do?” and “wow, how did you get fired from an unpaid internship?” Nelson will tell you he doesn’t "get" Snapchat, so blow his peanut brain by explaining the insane revenue multiple Snapchat is about to get on its upcoming IPO, where approximately $1 billion in annual revenue may net it a $25 billion valuation. As Nelson’s big dumb mouth hangs gaping wide after hearing this, snap a picture and post it as a Story.
Step 4: Crush dissent
By now, the family is starting to come around to the idea of Snapchat. But you can tell Uncle Seth isn’t buying it. His grimaces as you build support are harshing the buzz of the entire gathering, and it’s time to address the matter. When Uncle Seth tells you he simply “can’t get past the sexting part,” challenge him to take out his phone and prove that he’s pure enough to level this criticism. Uncle Seth hands over his phone, but it’s a huge mistake. You begin going through his camera roll only to find… Oh dear…. Oh no…. Please no…. How in the even!
Step 5: Snap away
With your family now on board, you can document the rest of the feast worry-free. To get the most out of Snapchat, Mashable recommends turning your camera on night mode, adding extra text by copying and pasting from your notes app, and using emoji stickers to “add some oomph to your photos.”
Now, go forth. Don’t let your country down.
Happy Thanksgiving, America.