Snap Chat Time Machine

“I thought SnapChat was free,” Russell said to his friend Chris.

Regular Snapchat is free. This is SnapChat Time Machine,” Chris replied. “It’s way cooler, but it cost $2.99.”

“Yeah, but I don’t get it. What’s the point?”

No one gets it until they start using it. They say it’s stupid. Then they use it constantly.”

Russell was skeptical of downloading apps that cost money, but he did like how the little creature on the logo reminded him of the Minions from Despicable Me and anything with the words “time machine” in the title was certainly intriguing. So he asked Chris to explain.

“Well, it basically allows you to go back in time and chat with yourself for up to 10 seconds. It lets you take a sign with you so you can write out a message and hold it awkwardly over your face or body to communicate with the past version of you. They just came out with a bunch of new fonts. They’re pretty cool.”

Russell felt like he was missing something.

“That’s cool and all, but if we have the technology to travel back in time why are we only staying there in 10-second intervals? And why do I have to write my message on a sign? Won’t that be annoying since it will kind of be in the way?… I heard phones came up with technology to let us text pictures back in time. What’s the difference between that and Snap Chat Time Macine?”

“Ugh. You just don’t get it.”


So Russell downloaded the app and waited until he was by himself to try it out. He decided to go back in time to that morning. He had forgotten to wear a rain jacket to the store and ended up getting completely soaked. So he wrote out a sign that said “Remember rain jacket” and sent a Snap Chat to 10:00 AM right before he was about to leave. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize he had to hold the button on the screen of his phone in order to stay back in time for the full 10 seconds. He went back in time for 1 second then came right back to the present. Then he held it for an additional three seconds until he just ran out of time. He basically just looked like a broken hologram flashing on and off. When the Snap Chat was finished he was still soaked. It clearly didn’t work.

The next day Russell decided to go further back in time and fix a more serious problem. The other day he had met a girl at bar and by the end of the night things were getting pretty intimate. The girl told him that she was on birth control and he had enough to drink to assume that he didn’t need to use any other form of protection. Now the girl is pregnant. Russell barely knows her and he’s going to have a child with her.

The best strategy he could think of was to send a Snap Chat to himself the night that he met her and warn himself that she was not on birth control. So he sent himself back to 12:48 AM the night he met her. At that specific time the girl had said that she would go get them a cab while he went to the bathroom before meeting back up with her outside. Russell brought a sign with him that said “SHE’S NOT ON THE PILL.” If he could pull this off it could change his life drastically.

Ten seconds later he wasn’t sure if it worked or not. He checked his phone. He still had the text from the girl that said “OMG I’m pregs! I’m gonna look like Olivia Wilde!!”

“How did this not work?” Russell asked in frustration. Then he looked up and saw himself in the mirror next to his door. There was a bruise around the corner of his eye. It looked like the remains of what used to be a pretty bad black eye. “I don’t remember that,” he thought to himself.

Over the course of the next few days he slowly pieced together what happened: The bar that he was in that night was very crowded. He chose a bad font and color for his message and it sort of blended in with the background. There were people dancing all around it. It was hard to read. Apparently, “SHE’S NOT ON THE PILL” looks a lot like “SHE’S GOT ALL THE BILL” to a drunk version of Russell. He thought that future him went back in time to warn him that he didn’t have to pay the bill for their drinks because she already paid for them. The bartender disagreed with this claim, but who would you believe: some bartender or a future version of yourself that traveled back in time to communicate with you? Eventually the bouncer got involved and that’s how he ended up with a black eye. Mission failed.

Russell decided that he would stop trying to go back and Snap Chat with himself. However, there was a feature that allowed him to go back and chat with other people. This seemed like a good idea. He knew that his ex-girlfriend had been training for a marathon for months, but he totally forgot about it the day of the marathon. He felt bad that he didn’t even acknowledge it, having known how hard she worked. He decided to  Snap Chat her the morning of the race to wish her good luck while she was stretching. So he went back in time with a sign that said “GOOD LUCK IN THE MARATHON!!!”

The feature that allows you to Snap Chat Time Machine other people doesn’t restrict you from sending the message to just one person. You could theoretically send the same message with the same sign to 20 different people in 20 different time periods. Unfortunately, the recipient has no way of knowing if he or she was the only one to get the message or if they were just part of a group Snap Chat Time Machine.

Sometimes this leads to over thinking….

Russell’s ex-girlfriend initially took the message as a nice gesture. Then she got to thinking, “was I the only one he sent that to?” which led to, “does he know another girl running this marathon?..” which led to, “did he just Snap Chat some other girl he’s dating and then decide to include me out of pity?” which led to, “I told him when I started seeing someone, how could he keep this from me?” which led to, “Maybe I was the only one he sent it to. He’s clearly not over me. I need my space.”

This cycle of thoughts went on for some time and although she started the marathon, she made a detour to stop at Russell’s house and berate him with incoherent ramblings about boundaries and not needing his pity. After the 10 second Snap Chat ended, Russell noticed a bruise in his other eye.


“I don’t know, man. This Snap Chat Time Machine you told me to download seems like it just causes me more trouble than it’s worth.”

Chris took a break from trying to make a Vine out of a bulldog riding a skateboard and looked up at Russell quizzically. 

“Oh you’re still using that thing?..yeah, it was a pretty silly concept in the first place.”

Jonny Auping

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