Social Media has become such an integral part of the Twenty-First century. Kids, adolescents, college students, middle-aged adults, and grandparents all use some form of social media to stay involved with their loved ones or current events. Social media has many forms, but I believe that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have had profound effects on their users.
At first I thought Facebook was the greatest single creation on the planet. I loved seeing my notifications on my laptop when I would come home from school. Facebook has changed the world forever. Families, like mine which is spread out all over the world, have an easier way of staying in touch. This is mainly why I preferred Facebook to other forms of social media since its popularity is one of the main reasons people from all over the world are only a simple “poke” away from each other.
However, my perception of the social media powerhouse changed immediately because I realized it was not really meant for high school and middle school students. The original target was college students and so I reactivated my account when I came to college after four years of deactivation. Personally, I feel that Facebook users under the age of 18 broadcast too much of their lives on the platform and also become dependent on Facebook as a form of social interaction rather than in-person communication.
Twitter quickly became my favorite social media platform. I find that Twitter has become the prime media outlet for sports, politics, and any breaking news story. Many sports fans follow all their favorite teams and various team/league insiders to be the first to know about any injury, trade, or score. As a result, since Twitter is much more fast paced than any other social media application, each time I open it, there are new posts and I would not have to see the same two posts for ten minutes as I might have to on Instagram or Facebook. The pace of Twitter is also great during the prime of football Sundays for Fantasy Football, or Premier League Saturdays for scores.
I’m not going to lie but seeing famous athletes subtweet each other is also pretty great as former Boston College soccer star and current USA Soccer player, Alejandro Bedoya roasts Abby Wambach.
Twitter’s popularity amongst celebrities also brings fans closer to them which we all love. Seeing firsthand tweets and pictures instead of from their publicist helps fans relate to their idols. Twitter’s fast pace and popularity amongst the “verified” have made it my favorite social media platform.
Facebook’s subsidiary, Instagram has made picture sharing very popular. Initially, I thought I would have no use for Instagram. However, as I got older and started traveling a lot more, I realized I really enjoyed taking pictures of new and exotic places around the world and putting them up on Instagram. I also love following accounts that post pictures of delicious food! Subconsciously, I started caring a lot more about taking pictures of anything because in my head I would “Is this good enough for Instagram?” This simple question revolutionized the edits and all the filters which other applications have made profits off of!
Nevertheless, I can truthfully say Instagram has made me enjoy taking pictures when I go to different places since I like sharing my new experiences. Sometimes we might not have the words to describe it so a simple photo with an emoji as a caption might be the best situation!
One of the most popular social media applications amongst millennials, Snapchat, has certainly changed instant messaging for my generation. The ability to send instantly disappearing pictures after a quick glance has made sending goofy or funny messages very entertaining. The changes since the application launched have been major but also appropriate. Stories and the streaks that you can attain with someone has made Snapchat very fun to use and its ease of use has made it very popular.
Clearly, the filters have made Snapchat extremely interactive and I can tell many users really love this feature. Although I am not a big fan, I think it is an excellent feature to gain even more users and really own the photo messaging industry. Especially for millennials, Snapchat has been a great application because they are very used to interaction through social media, and Snapchat allows users to still see each other through photos.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have changed the landscape of social media. The main takeaway I have from my initial experiences and opinions is how reliant I have become on all these applications. When I first downloaded the apps and created my profiles, I realized how addicting they all were. I cared so much about what all my peers would post or tweet about and I instantly became hooked. As a result, I always had to keep my phone with me at all times and would instantly have to check one or two of these applications for either social or sports updates.
I think I went on my Twitter feed about 100 times just while writing this blog, which explains my current state of social media dependence. At first, I did not understand the need for social media in my life. Yet, over the course of time, I realized that social media is either a need, a must, or an addiction. I believe that living in today’s world, with the dependence on technology, social media is a part of who we are.