An Evaluation of Modern Day Relationships, Based on Snapchat Emojis



Illustration by Brittany Isdith

I remember it like it was yesterday. The day Snapchat took away the feature to see other people’s “best friends.”

Guys rejoiced and snapped their sidepieces while girls panicked and kept refreshing the app, anxiously asking their friends if Snapchat was “down.” How were they supposed to call out their boyfriends for cheating on them without such evidence? Confront them? Ha, that is preposterous.

Then emojis started popping up next to contact names. There was mass confusion about what they meant—Snapchat had been given a purpose again. These emojis were assigned to contacts to define relationships instead of end them.


A relationship has just been born. Everything is new and exciting. On Snapchat, this person becomes the first name in your “recents.” If there was a comfort level on a spectrum of one to farting in front of each other, this person is a negative ten. Your morning, “ugh I don’t wanna go to class” snapchats sent from bed are taken after you’ve already gotten ready for class to portray an “I woke up like this #flawless” perception. So the days where your paths cross, you put a little more effort into your appearance. Texts are worded carefully and sent systematically, just like you’re consciousness of your sent to received Snapchat ratio.

Smirking Face.

If you’re playing the game right, you have become one of their Best Friends before they have became yours. You’re the one in control of the relationship. You wait a certain amount of time to respond to their texts, and analyze everything their texts may or may not mean. Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, the actual words of a text message are worth a 1,000 other words and 64 underlying messages.


Playing hard to get starts to grow old, and eventually you give in. They move up the list to one of your Best Friends, and the relationship escalates. But you wonder, am I on their Best Friends list? Are the feelings mutual? Snapchats continue back and forth, and you pursue communication. Texts are sent before midnight, which is a huge step. Cinderella’s glamour disappears after the clock strikes twelve, and so does the allure of an invitation to “Netflix n chill.”


Things heat up as you develop a streak. This is a crucial point in the relationship, as you need to evaluate if you’re “into it” before the streak goes on for too long. Nobody wants to be the asshole to end the streak once it gets to be something to be proud of.

Yellow Heart.

Clarification that things, in fact, are mutual! You can’t fight fate or Snapchat algorithms, so you two were obviously meant to be together.

Red Heart.

All is going well. Consistency for this long definitely means you guys are exclusive. It’s probably safe to assume they’re not even Snapchatting (or hooking up) with anybody except you. You take comfort in the fact you have a guaranteed date to take to date nights.

Pink Hearts.

You’ve heard rumors about this emoji. It appears after a full month of being each other’s “best friends.” However the only thing that lasts that long in college is your supply of clean underwear before you have to do laundry.

Grimacing Face.

It’s inevitable. You’re scrolling down your list, enjoying your night out, and then you see it. Your best friend, your soul mate, is also someone else’s best friend slash soul mate. How long has this been going on for? Have you been living a lie this whole time? Do you stop the streak? You’re so close to 100… More importantly, your date night is next week.

Sunglasses Face.

The grimacing face next to this homewrecker’s name on your contact list turned into the sunglasses face, because you’re no longer mutual top best friends with your so called “soul mate." The only thing that’s shadier are the sunglasses this emoji wears on its deceiving, smiling face. You feel them slipping away, so you up your game with the Snapchat captions making them funnier than usual, and present yourself a little better to keep them hooked.


The streak was broken, and much like the absence of the emoji next to their name, there’s an absence of them in your life. You question where it all went wrong. Maybe you had too many chins in that last selfie you sent. Maybe your entire relationship happened through Snapchat. Still determined to find love in a hopeless place we call adolescence, you download Tinder and start swiping right.