Andrew Plus SnapChat Equals Addiction and Storytelling Realness

According to the famous “Twelve Step Program” espoused by Alcoholics Anonymous, “the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.” Well, I’m not necessarily seeking recovery from it, but I do have something to confess: I am addicted to SnapChat. For those of you unfamiliar with this epic mobile App, SnapChat allows users to take, edit, and send photos/videos (called “Snaps”) to a list of friends. Once a Snap has been viewed, it is removed from the recipient’s device and deleted from SnapChat’s servers… unless the user decides to really come that way and take a screenshot of your Snap. If that happens, you better be comfortable with the fact that someone will likely throw some mean shade at you and post your content on some sort of Social Media outlet.

Shade throwing aside, I can’t really tell you why I am so fascinated with SnapChat, but I am. In December of 2013 when I crawled out of my cave and finally purchased a Smart Phone (I know, leave me alone), the very first thing I did with my fancy iPhone was download SnapChat. I then proceeded to take my very first Snap: A video of me smashing my old Dumb Phone with a hammer. After that, I was hooked, and I’ve been Snapping like a bunch of hipsters at a poetry reading ever since.

So why have I chosen to fill you in on my SnapChat addiction? I can tell you one thing, it’s not because I feel like I need a recovery program or something. It’s because I think SnapChat provides us with a great opportunity to share stories, and in a much better fashion than the pedestrian art of pencil and paper. I mean, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then 10-12 photo/video snaps should make for one hell of a tale, right? There’s only one way to find out, and that is to simply let you take a peek at a few (and by “a few,” I really mean “a lot”) Snaps that I took during a recent work escapade to the wonderfully bright and happy city of Detroit. A quick back story on the trip: A few team members and I earned the chance to attend a summit hosted by Chrysler, where were able to sit in on some killer presentations given by representatives from Google, Facebook, AOL (yeah, they’re still around) and a few other big wigs from the interwebz. I’ve dubbed our journey “Randi’s Quest for SEM Mastery and the Ever-Famous Detroit, Michigan Native, B-Rabbit.”

Chapter 1: Airport Boredom                      

AirportBoredomWe arrived at the Cedar Rapids, IA airport around 10 AM, and naturally, there was a lot of waiting. Well, I don’t do too well when it comes to having patience, and I had a lot of bubble gum in my pocket. So, I passed the time by chewing gum and sharing my frustration with my co-workers who were still back at the office. Oh, and I also made sure all of my Facebook friends knew that I was venturing to Detroit for the second time in April, and that it was a distinct possibility that I may not return home.


AirportLiteratureChapter 2: Easy Reading

In true Andrew form, receiving permission to board the plane continued to leave me bored (see what I did there?). Once in my seat, I began to fidget and squirm, so I tried to calm myself with a little light reading. I just had to let everyone know exactly what sort of literature I would be consuming, so I Snapped a little gem from the juicy story I decided to direct my just so tired eyes towards. (For the record, that British grandmother WERKS hard.)

Chapter 3: Auto Trouble and No Apologies

DevilLanceDougSucksAtVehiclesOnce we landed in the beautiful, prosperous city of Detroit, our first task was to attain a rental vehicle. I was actually fairly excited by this point. I thought for sure we were going to rent a sickening new Audi or at least a new Jeep Cherokee to show our Chrysler support. I also thought that Doug, my manager and travelmate, would be on board for choosing an automobile we could all be proud of. So, I let him pick. I was wrong. Dead wrong. He proceeded to pick a damn Dodge Caravan, and we spent the next two days riding around the city like a bunch of kids being taken to soccer practice by our mother. *sigh* To make matters worse, I received a Snap from one of our Account Managers, Haley, which made it perfectly clear that I had done a horrible job parking my car in the Mudd parking lot. Don’t you worry, I received at least 10 more Snaps from various parties highlighting the fact that the ever famous “Lance” had decided to make himself right at home in two parking spots. I didn’t apologize for his actions.

Instead, I took to Twitter and made sure everyone knew that I was serving some mad SnapChat realness.


BBQAftermathPayDayLoanChapter 4: Peas and Carrots? How About BBQ and a Loan?

After we had checked in at our hotel, our stomachs got the best of us and we decided to see what Detroit had to offer in terms of fine dining. Naturally, that meant we needed to fuel up on something that was good for us. By “good for us,” I mean “delicious and utterly unhealthy.” We hit up a BBQ joint and pounded ribs, chicken, craft beer (not me, I hate beer) and Captain and Diets (me, I’m trying to watch my figure) like we hadn’t eaten or drank for days. I think I had a minor heart attack, or at least clogged an artery or two. After we had our fill, we made our way back to the soccer-mobile, but only after I grabbed a quick Snap of a historic Detroit landmark: An abandoned, boarded up Pawn/Pay Day Loan shop.

Chapter 5: Hotel Struggles, Visage Waves, Gambling and Raw Fish

HotelStrugglesThe day of the summit started like any normal day: I woke up, stretched my tired legs and got to WERKin’ on my fitness. In this case, that consisted of logging way too many miles on a stationary bike because: (a) It was cardio day, (b) I hate running on a treadmill, and (c) there was no way in hell I was going to run around downtown Detroit at 4 AM. I’m dumb sometimes, but I’m not a complete moron.   Correction: I may in fact be a moron, as I ended up adding an extra stair session after my workout due to my own stupidity, as seen in the lovely Facebook status update I’ve shared above.



SushiBigMoneyOnce at the summit, we spent most of the day learning some really good information related to running successful Search and Social campaigns, as well as some interesting data regarding the automotive industry as a whole, and Chrysler specifically. However, all of that great insight was quickly thrown to the side during one of the intermissions. I decided to check my phone, and I noticed that Lenna, Content Manager to the stars, had written an epic blog post – “10 Real Life Struggles of a TargetClick Employee.” The post was just so sickening that I had to stop and Visage wave right then and there. I thought for sure my arm was going to fall off. (Aside: I wasn’t kicked out of the event, but that would have been pretty funny.) After we finished getting our learn on, we did what anyone on a work trip does: We hit up the open bar for a bit. I took full advantage of this great gift, and wanted to rage all night long, even after the drinks were no longer free. No one else shared my sentiment, so instead we watched Doug throw a few coins at a slot machine in the hotel casino, and then closed the night out with some sushi.

Chapter 6: Too Much Fun/Home Too Soon

VisageOverloadAlthough we called it an early night post-summit, I woke up in a fairly rough state. I guess I did a little too much Visage waving, and maybe had too much of Grandpa’s classic cough medicine. After letting my SnapChat audience in on my woes, I took to both Facebook and Twitter and shared my plight with the world.


HomewardBoundIASighShortly thereafter, we checked out of the hotel, made our way to the airport and finally ditched the pedestrian van. It was quite liberating. We boarded the plane in D-town without any hang-ups, and I had once again made it in and out of Detroit without any bullet holes or stab wounds. However, we did experience a slight takeoff delay while still in Detroit, and we barely made it onto our connection flight in Chicago (don’t ask me why we had a connecting flight in Chicago for a Cedar Rapids to Detroit trip. I don’t get it either). After hustlin’ and bustlin,’ we boarded, and I Snapped.

Once in Cedar Rapids, we piled in Doug’s Grand Cherokee and made our way home. I was happy to be out of Detroit, but I sighed audibly about being back in Iowa. Oh well. I had an awesome time during our short trip, I learned a lot, and I had successfully shared my adventure with a few of my friends and co-workers. Of course, no story – even one captured via SnapChat – should close without a happy ending: I won a Google Chromecast at the summit! WERK!

For more sickening Snaps like these, add randi_stryder to your list of SnapChat friends.



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