Social media takes a lot of heat. People think it’s making the youths dumber. And it might be. But it also keeps the information flowing. It keeps us connected, even if that connection is tenuous. I think there is a lot of humanity in social media, should we choose to look at it that way.
Whatever you’re feeling about it, it’s here to stay. I don’t see this world going anywhere. Evolving, sure, but never leaving. What I Know About…Social media:
1. Periscope terrifies me. I don’t even like taking photos of myself, let alone videos. I mean, once you say things, they are just … out there for the world. It’s too much pressure and stress. Also, it makes me feel really old when I try to navigate it.
2. I’m newly obsessed with Snapchat. The little everyday moments of people’s stories are so fun to me on the app. Especially seeing people that I would love to reconnect with and maybe they live in a different place. It makes me feel updated on their lives and like we’re sharing life together a little bit. Also, there is no better place than Snapchat to send a hideous photo of yourself to your sisters (username: rgreiman2 if you want in on the fat faces.)
3. Facebook is like the older brother of social media. It was clunkier and awkward in the beginning, with no one else to show him the way. He had to forge his own path and his actions kind-of direct what the other, younger siblings do. I love Facebook for what it is—a place to see how people are doing on Candy Crush and simultaneously read about their obnoxious political opinions—but it will never be my favorite. Facebook is A LOT. It’s noisy and overwhelming and it’s a bit of mental workout to scroll and sort and filter what I would actually like to consume.
4. Instagram! The best of them all! It has its flaws, don’t get me wrong. I hate that you can’t link a photo or that it doesn’t always let you space your caption out the way you would like. But it’s golden. Those little squares make me so happy. Posting and looking and interacting (read: creeping) with others. It all just genuinely brings me joy.
5. Twitter is my most underutilized social media app on my phone. But I want to use it more because I think it’s smart. It has valuable news that is accessible in 140 characters. I can get actual headlines from actual news companies that I have actually chosen to follow. Contrast that to Facebook, I don’t get to choose what news is given to me: it’s whatever my friends are posting. I also think you have to be a little smarter to do Twitter well. You have to craft something special in 140 characters. Not many people can be witty or impactful with so few words. Twitter is essentially teaching us how to be more like Ghandi, “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”
6. The app that doesn’t feel very social is Pinterest. I tend to think of it more as a visual Google than a place to go see what my friends are doing. I love it. I use it. But I would rarely comment on someone else’s stuff or see it as a place to connect with people.
7. I would love to hear your thoughts on social media, for real. Do you hate it? Do you love it? Have you also written a blog about it? Comment!