Snapchat Isn’t Cool Anymore

Congress has ruined this now, too.

Lucia Graves
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Lucia Graves
Jan. 15, 2014, 8:26 a.m.

The epi­taph of weed’s cool­ness came earli­er this month, when two anti-leg­al­iz­a­tion scolds for The New York Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post ad­mit­ted they’d smoked weed in their youth. “The worst ef­fect of the main­stream­ing of weed is not massive marijuana over­doses — that’s an un­funny hoax, dum­mies,” wrote the in­im­it­able Elspeth Reeve in The Wire, “but that weed is no longer cool.”

Now, we have an­oth­er cas­u­alty on our hands: Snapchat, the photo-shar­ing app be­loved by tweens.

Politico scooped — in a very im­port­ant ex­clus­ive — that Sen. Rand Paul, 51, will an­nounce Wed­nes­day that he is join­ing Snapchat. Not even that he joined it — that he will join it, Wed­nes­day night, or at some point. When he gets around to it.

The sen­at­or re­portedly learned about Snapchat by read­ing of its grow­ing in­flu­ence on the In­ter­net, that mys­ter­i­ous en­tity first in­ven­ted by Al Gore. What’s worse, he’s an­noun­cing his plan on Face­book, a form of so­cial me­dia so un­cool that even Pres­id­ent Obama knows young people don’t really use it any­more.

Ser­gio Gor, a spokes­man for Paul’s polit­ic­al or­gan­iz­a­tion, ex­plained it thusly: “Sen­at­or Paul al­ways looks for a way to en­gage Amer­ic­ans of all ages. Snapchat will al­low every­one to fol­low the sen­at­or as he travels around the na­tion and spreads the mes­sage of liberty.”

Any­one hop­ing for an An­thony Wein­er-style crotch pic (that is, after all, what youth usu­ally uses it for), will be dis­ap­poin­ted. Paul is only plan­ning to of­fer “back­stage glimpses of his trips and me­dia ap­pear­ances,” ac­cord­ing to Politico‘s Mike Al­len, who first — did we men­tion? — scooped this story.

The true nail in Snapchat’s pro­ver­bi­al cool­ness coffin was Rep. Michele Bach­mann, who com­pared Obama­care to the so­cial-net­work­ing ser­vice. “Obama­care is the health care ver­sion of Snapchat,” she said Wed­nes­day. “Now you see it, now you don’t.” Snapchat, the Min­nesota Re­pub­lic­an ex­plained, is how she com­mu­nic­ates with her kids every day. “What you do is you re­cord your­self,” she told her be­fuddled law­makers. “You know it’s like a selfie…. “

But the de­mise of Snapchat’s cool­ness is one thing for which we can­not en­tirely blame politi­cians or Con­gress. Snapchat was already well past peak cool be­fore Paul, that liberty-lov­ing hater of fed­er­al bur­eau­cracy, spoiled it: Taco Bell and Acura, as Al­len poin­ted out, were already us­ing it after all.

Still, some so­cial-me­dia mavens re­joiced at Paul and Bach­mann pil­ing on. “I love that Michele Bach­mann and Rand Paul are on Snapchat,” tweeted Ry­an J Dav­is, vice pres­id­ent of com­munity at Voc­at­iv. “Those are two people I wanna have dis­ap­pear in 7 seconds.”

And pro­cras­tin­at­ors, too, should take heart. If you’ve been put­ting off down­load­ing the app for the dis­ap­pear­ing photo ser­vice, maybe you don’t have to at all any­more.

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