Rule No. 1: Keep It Real
Not having a great day? That's OK, we've all been there! Yes, filters can make things looks better than they are—but don't be afraid to be open and honest with your followers and show the ups and the downs of your day.
"Snapchat is the one app that is representative of life. Snap the good and the bad in order to keep things authentic." —Jade, Oakland, California
Rule No. 2: Triple Check the Recipient Before You Press "Send"
When you're on a Snapping spree, the smallest slip of the thumb can make a major difference. Stay on the safe side by making sure that selfie you took is going to the right person, because a little miscommunication can have major consequences.
"Biggest Snapchat rule: *Always* read who you're sending direct Snaps to. Once I sent 'I love you' to my ex instead of my boyfriend—I swear he thinks I'm not over him now." —Andrea, Las Vegas, Nevada
Rule No. 3: Stop Taking Screenshots!
Unless it's a product recommendation or a recipe idea, keep your screenshots to a minimum. You might end up making the people you screenshot feel more uneasy than you realize (and if they really want you to keep that selfie forever, they'll text it to you).
"Don't screenshot pics friends send you…that's creepy and kind of annoying." —Eleanor, Thousand Oaks, California
Rule No. 4: Only Highlight the Hits at a Show
Sweet readers' opinions on concert Snapping are pretty wide-ranging, but the general consensus is to Snap only the best songs and only with the best views of a set. When the audio is indecipherable and the video is just the back of someone's head, it doesn't actually make your followers feel like they're there beside you quite as much as you may think.
"If you've got a good view, do it. If you're in the nosebleeds, refrain." —Catherine, Brooklyn, New York
Rule No. 5: Flex Your Creative Muscles
Add rainbow-colored drawings to your Snaps and play around with lens, stickers, and geo filters to keep things interesting. The second you start getting bored with your Snaps, chances are your friends will, too.
"Do something creative! I hate when people send a black snap and it says "streaks" on it—it's so lackluster and unoriginal." —Simon, Beijing, China
Rule No. 6: Enter Triple Digits With Caution
Is your story over 100 seconds long? Let's pump the breaks a little. To make sure your friends actually see everything through until the end, keep the length of your stories short and sweet. Sometimes less really is more!
"No more than three snaps of the same event or the same place in the same day." —Gabriella, New York City, New York
Rule No. 7: Don't Send and Post the Same Snaps to Your Story
Unless you have a Snap your best friend desperately needs to see and you're positive they won't be checking your story that day, skip the redundant Snap. It can feel repetitive, and sometimes downright rude, when you realize that what you thought you were receiving as a personalized Snap is also out there for the rest of the world to see in a friend's story.
"Never send a Snap to your story and to a person separately. Just don't do it!" —Leia, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Rule No. 8: Keep 'Em Guessing
Your trek to the gym every morning at 5 a.m. is admirable, don't get us wrong—but if your Snap of the treadmill is the first thing we see when we wake up every morning, it might get a little monotonous. Switch things up to keep your stories interesting.
"People aren't going to want to see what you're having for breakfast every day until you're a celebrity." —Jenny, Arcadia, Indiana
Rule No. 9: Don't Blow Up Your Own Spot
Told friends you couldn't join them for dinner because you were sick? Think twice before posting that Snap of you at the movies instead.
"Be careful what you Snap yourself doing and what you told people you're doing!" —Sarah, Austin, Texas
Rule No. 10: Don't Send Anything You'll Regret Later
There's a lot of obvious ground this category covers, so we'll leave the common sense up to you. Just remember: Everything can be screenshot, saved, and shared—so tread carefully.
"When I'm in the bathroom and on my phone, I'll send a picture of my face really close up so no one can tell where I am." —Elsa, Amherst, Massachusetts
Bonus Round: We Asked, You Answered
How Many Selfies Are Too Many Selfies?
"Three consecutive selfies." —Izzy, Madrid, Spain
"Five a week, max." —Jade Ann, Somerset, United Kingdom
"1,000." —Mariam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
"Not a thing." —Aubrey, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Can You Snap Someone You've Never Met?
"I wouldn't." —Morgan, Wausau, Wisconsin
"As long as it's appropriate and doesn't show your face." —Jenna, Los Angeles, California
"Sure. I did it this morning, lol." —Nisha, Bellflower, California
"Snapchat was invented for this, right?" —Bea, Louisiana
How Soon Can You Add Someone After Meeting Them?
"Wait one week." —Lindsey, Denver, Colorado
"Wait one day." —Chandler, Phoenix, Arizona
"12.3 hours." —Monica, Saskatchewan, Canada
"Five minutes into the conversation." —Emily, Yangon, Myanmar
Snapchat Rules: The Runners Up
"No nudes! Ever!" —Gøril, Hammerfest, Norway
"Don't Snap everything. Remember to enjoy the moment." —Maya, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
"Keep it simple and inspiring! My Snap secret: I take loads of Snaps before posting the right one." —Bolu, Lagos, Nigeria
"My rule is to Snap people back as fast as they Snap me—if they respond in one hour, then so will I." —Stephanie, Stockholm, Sweden
"DO NOT SEND ME 'STREAKS.' I WILL NOT REPLY." —Sydnie, Springfield, Illinois
"Don't post selfies without a caption or a sticker or a friend (unspoken high school rules)." —Isabella, Morgan Hill, California
"My Snapchat rule? Put in inspirational quotes to help you and your friends stay motivated." —Hareem, Karachi, Pakistan
"Never send anything that you know someone major in your life would not approve of." —Taylor-Luise, Bronx, New York
"Be comfortable and natural in your selfies—just Snap it and go. Don't spend minutes looking at it and picking out the flaws and retaking them because that can be harmful!" —Ros, Spain
"My biggest Snapchat rule is to always be yourself! Be different! Standing out is always the best way to go, no matter what." —Nia, Vancouver