About one month has passed since Snapchat has changed its friend-rating system and it's ruining more lives than ever before. If you are an avid snapper, then you understand the joy, struggle, and paranoia behind the emojis scattered among your contacts. In this new and exciting selfie-addicted era, snap-fiends have also had the time to learn the deeper meanings behind the symbols and it's terrifying.
You probably also secretly miss creeping your crush's best friends, but those days are behind us. Get over it.
What it means: You are each other's #1 best friends.
What it really means: This is the person you send and receive the most snaps from. You've been snapping this person the most arbitrary, mundane things and it's finally paid off: you got the heart. My best friend has had this heart for a while, probably a result from sharing outfits, stupid faces, and drunken snaps I can never get back.
When to freak out: Your boyfriend has had the heart for the past few weeks. The heart has just disappeared and things are getting weird. Give it a day or two. Maybe he's just been busy. Maybe you've been over budgeting your snaps to your other buds. OR MAYBE HE'S BEEN SNAPPING SOME OTHER BITCH! WHO IS SHE? WHAT'S HER NAME? WHERE DOES SHE LIVE?
What it means: Your #1 best friend is also their #1 best friend.
What it really means: This is a little awkward. Basically, someone has some explaining to do, because you're being played. Your best friend IRL has the grimace beside their name. Does this call into question your real friendship? What kind of best friend isn't also your virtual best friend? You've had the grimace face for a good few weeks now. Maybe it's time to accept the truth. Maybe it's time to look for a new BFFL. Question everything.
When to freak out: Do you still not have a best friend? Still immersed in the almost-best-friends-but-not-quite situation? You could freak out anytime soon, I guess. Or conspire with this friend to avenge yourselves and overthrow your "superior." Up to you.
What it means: You are one of their best friends, but they are not one of yours.
What it really means: You win. You're the meanest of the mean girls. Feels nice scrolling down and seeing all the people who are inferior to you, doesn't it? They love you—they really love you. Enjoy it while you can, because soon that girl who thinks you're friends after that science project will come up. Or that creepy, annoying guy you met at the bar will show up with that same smirk. You can see you're his best friend and now you just want to get rid of him. They pushed their way to get your snap info and now are forcing their way to attempt to be your #1 best friend.
When to freak out: You should have started feeling uncomfortable when you accepted that friend request. You put this upon yourself and I can't help you. You might want to hide your phone from them.
What it means: Just another good friend.
What it really means: The smiley face is probably the least controversial of the Snapchat reform. This is a close friend who's probably seen the real side of you on Snapchat, that freaky version, sent to a select few for a private viewing. No way this would make it onto your story. This is also kind of the bitch emoji: you don't know if you're just the bitch or if you are genuinely just good friends. There's a good chance they've got the smirking face on the other side, meaning you are just the side-snap bitch.
When to freak out: Look at all the happy faces, they're all lies. Look at them, smiling at your discomfort.
"Cool" Sunglasses Face
What it means: One of your best friends is one of their best friends.
What it really means: You guys don't know it, but you should chill sometime. Your friends are friends, so maybe you should start snapping each other too. This emoji can get a little depressing when you don't have a #1 of your own. Just floating in the abyss of the Snapchat world, wondering if you will ever find a #1. My coworkers all have the sunglasses face. Does this mean they're best friends and I'm just the loner with sunglasses? I bet they've all been streaking for like, six days (see: Fire "Streak").
When to freak out: These are valid concerns but you aren't alone. Put on some cool shades to hide the pain. Maybe start to consider getting rid of this goddamn app.
What it means: You have been snapping back and forth daily.
What it really means: You've been on a streak with this person—you are on fire (good one, Snapchat). Has it been only been three days so far? This is nothing to be impressed by yet. Once you get to that ten-day streak you can consider yourselves accomplished. The fire streak is also usually paired with the smiling face (see above). The streak concept gets weird when you've been on "fire" for about two weeks and you still aren't each other's best friends. Are you putting in all this effort for nothing? You've also just realized how much time you're spending on Snapchat.
When to freak out: How about you take a break from Snapchat for a bit? You're streaking with about five different people and you're starting to believe that your life is actually interesting. Stop.
What it means: This person could use some snap-attention.
What it really means: You most likely haven't sent anything to this person in a while, and they could use some intel on your life. Honestly Snapchat, fuck off. Is this app is actually trying to tell me that my ex-boyfriend needs some snap love? Who the fuck are you to judge who needs my affection? Does this mean my name has been showing up on his "needs love" section? Does he still have my number? He's probably been creeping my Facebook.
When to freak out: Now. Now sounds good.
Follow Sierra Bein on Twitter.