Thoughts on Social Media

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A while back I read an article on Medium called “A Teenager’s View on Social Media.” In this piece, the writer breaks down his views on several of the most popular social networks. As I was reading, I found myself nodding along and agreeing with him. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that I love social media. This is a bit strange because I consider myself to be an introvert. You’d think someone like me would not want to share bits of their life on the internet. However, I think I enjoy social media so much because it allows me to have interactions with other people within the privacy of my own space. I’ve always preferred writing to speaking and through social media I’m able to share little excerpts of my life. Let’s talk about the main social networks that I use:

FACEBOOK

Facebook is like that relative you begrudgingly talk to from time to time because they’re family, but if you weren’t related you’d have nothing to do with them. I rarely use my personal Facebook. The few times I do go on, I scroll through my news feed and then I have to log off, because I just can’t. I have a Facebook page for my blog which I update whenever there’s a new post, but I’m wondering if it’s really worth it. I think most people who read this blog use other methods of keeping up, so I’m not sure if it’s worth updating my Facebook page? I don’t find that I have a lot of interaction there and since I don’t really like Facebook, I’m not inclined to interact there myself.

TWITTER

I resisted Twitter for a while because I didn’t understand it, but I’ve been using it for the past few years and it’s become one of my favorite forms of social media. When I wake up in the morning, I check both of my Twitter feeds (I have a separate one for my bookish pursuits). I check it any time I’m on break at work and when I’m home I always have my Twitter tab open. On the Twitter mobile app, I don’t like feeling like I’ve missed things and I wish Twitter would automatically update from the last time you had the app open, instead of leaving a gap of a few hours. Honestly, I get most of my news from Twitter these days and I think it’s actually made me more aware of current events. I think people can be hilarious on twitter and I like live-tweeting television or award shows. It’s great for having quick conversations with people or sharing interesting things I find on the Internet.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is battling Twitter right now for the #1 spot on this list. I feel like you can really get to know someone through the snapshots they share on Instagram. For some of my old high school friends, Instagram is the way we keep in touch and it’s nice to see what they get up to. I’ve definitely had feelings of Instagram envy (who hasn’t?), particularly right now as it seems like everyone is on a warm weather vacation. Those thoughts are fleeting though and on the whole I think Instagram is great. I’ve been neglecting my Instagram a bit lately (winter has left me a bit uninspired), but I want to get back to posting regularly. Sometimes it feels weird to stop and snap a picture of something in public. I want to get over that though because I like capturing those moments and keeping a visual diary.

PINTEREST

My friend was an early adopter and she sent me an invite to Pinterest. When I got the email, I thought it was spam and deleted it. After furthering prodding from my friend, I eventually signed up and it’s become such a useful tool. I use it to keep track of recipes I’d like to try, places I want to visit, clothes I want to buy, makeup products on my wish list- basically everything. I used to keep folders all over the place, but it’s so much easier now that they’re all consolidated into one place. I will say that as Pinterest is changing as it grows bigger and I’m not sure that I’m loving all of the promoted and suggested pins. I really only want to see pins from the people I’ve chosen to follow.

SNAPCHAT

I feel a bit behind on this one- I think the younger generations have been using it for a year or more. I finally downloaded Snapchat at the beginning of the year and I’m slowly figuring it out. There’s always that transition period with new platforms where you have no idea what you’re doing and that’s where I am right now. Based on my limited experience, it seems to be an unfiltered Instagram and I like that. You can add captions and MS Paint-style squiggles, but there are no filters and you can’t really edit your pictures (or maybe you can and I just don’t know how to?). The point is, Instagram has become so stylized and posed (which I don’t entirely hate, because I like looking at pretty pictures as much as the next person), but Snapchat feels likes it’s more IRL since you have to be using the app to snap a picture or video. If you’ve been using Snapchat, let me know your tips and if you’d like to add me, my username is starcrossedsmil.

I think it’s true that I’ve become a bit addicted to social media. I’m better at disconnecting on the weekends, but during the weekdays I’m usually staying up an extra 30 minutes or so to check all of my feeds before I go to bed. Must power down. Anyways, let me finally wrap up this long post. I’d love for you to tell me your views on social media and/or which site you like the most!

(image via Death to Stock Photo, handwriting by me)

  • This was such an interesting read for me as someone who wishes she was more fond of social media. Particularly Twitter – l used to love it, but now it’s the one I really avoid. I think that’s because it’s the less intimate, in some way; I’ll go to post something and realize that 1200 people are likely to see it – only 12 of whom I actually feel like I know. It’s a little intimidating. (I can’t imagine what I’d do with a bigger following, haha.) My other issue with Twitter is that I’m just horrible at condensing my thoughts – I’ll spend ten minutes just trying to get a tweet to fit the character limit! On the other hand, l love my personal Facebook because my friends-list is small, so l know who I’m talking to, and I have a little more control. That said, though, l completely agree with you on FB pages! l have two, of course, but I stopped using one and I see minimal interaction on the other. It definitely feels like a dead weight. Instagram I love, but I’ve totally had the same struggles with Instagram-envy! I like seeing pictures that have a certain amount of composition and thoughtfulness to them, but there’s a line that can be crossed and they can suddenly feel overly “curated”, you know? (I love the saying, “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” I think that’s especially true for Instagram.) My favorite accounts on there lately are the gorgeous landscape photographers, particularly the #livefolk community (@folkmagazine). I love going on Insta and seeing photos of all these wild and wonderful places in the world. Pinterest is probably tied with Instagram for my favorite social media outlet; lately I’ve started making more abstract boards for photography and I find those really fun. I actually love the recommended pins, but basically for me everything it recommends is either North & South, Jane Austen, book photography, poems, or cottages. You can never have enough of any of those things, right? ;)

    Anyway! That was kind of an overloaded response, sorry. I loved your insights, thanks for sharing! x

    • First of all, thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment! <3 I can understand your concerns about twitter. Even though I have around 750 followers, I think the same core group of people interact with me regularly, so it feels like I'm really talking to them. Condensing your thoughts can be hard, especially if you're trying to be somewhat conscious of proper grammar. Sometimes I wish I had just 5 more characters on Twitter.

      I've been reconsidering my Facebook page for a while. I don't think I'll delete it, but I might just stop updating. On my personal Facebook, I'm friends with a lot of people who aren't really friends (acquaintances, old friends from HS who I'm not really in touch with anymore, etc), so I don't use that to keep in touch. The people I care about I'll talk to in some other form!

      I guess with Instagram, I want to be pretty pictures with a dose of reality. I enjoy carefully composed pictures, but it's nice to see something spontaneous and a little rough around the edges every once in a while. Oooo, I want your recommended pins on Pinterest! Mine are rather random, but what can you do? :)

      Thank you again for reading and commenting. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  • Really great post Nnenna! I feel behind on Snapchat as well, I never use it. I’m always learning about social media, is definitely something that didn’t come natural to me. When I started blogging, that’s when I had to push myself into it. My favorites right now are Pinterest and Instagram :)

    • Thank you Maru! Snapchat is my newest social media site. I definitely began to use social media because of the blog and I’m really glad that I did :)

  • I recently got really into Instagram. I get a lot of inspiration from there but those spammy comments are quite annoying. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest too but somehow I couldn’t get myself committed, I found using it on my mobile app so much better than on the computer.

    I feel exactly the same about Facebook, it is so tedious over there and I tend to avoid it. But I still have an account only for the business page and creative groups where I can connect with like-minded people.

    Havent got a Snapchat yet but I think it is pointless. I might be just judgemental! I used to think Instagram was a little stupid but heck no I was so so wrong- it is brilliant!

    I love Twitter! But there are times I don’t know what to say :)

    Instagram comes first for me I think!

    Katrina Sophia

    • Spammy comments on Instagram are annoying and so were the spam followers. I’m glad they did that big clearout to remove the spam accounts at least. Totally understand that feeling about Snapchat. I was pretty skeptical for the longest time, but finally I decided to give it a try!

  • I read that article too! It’s very fascinating reading about social media from a teenager’s perspective. As much as I feel like I was just living that time of my life, I’m so far removed from that age! haha. I can’t imagine how being a teenager in the age of social media is like. When I was younger, blogging/social pages were becoming used but nothing like today. Nowadays, it feels like everyone is constantly “on” and by that I mean…on their feeds, on about what to post, on about how they look in order to take a selfie. It’s just constant.

    Without the constant trend factor, my votes for #1 social media tool is Instagram. Then, Twitter. And definitely Pinterest. My reasons are simple. Instagram is a visual tool. You fill your story in a square and filter it to look “amazing” and then post. It’s so simple but so effective. I love seeing photos of the daily life of others. I like that instant gratification of seeing something through a different perspective.

    Twitter is great to get the latest news and information. I don’t constantly check it but I do like it.

    Pinterest is definitely a win for me. I was an early user and just LOVED the concept. I used to be a heavy magazine clipper and this virtual clipping was just brilliant for me. I still use it the same way I started using it back then. I don’t use it to network or to branch out for monetary gain. It’s purely a creative environment for me and I love that.

    As far as Snapchat? I feel I must be old because I’m not much of a user and I don’t find it as entertaining as Vine. haha. =)

    xo,
    nancy

    • I also can’t imagine what it would be like to be a teen in this age of social media. Perhaps it’s similar to how my parents felt when I was growing up in the age of computers. It’s so true that it’s constant. I feel like in my age bracket though, I have friends who are really into social media and some who barely use it, whereas with teenagers, I think majority of them are big social media users.

      I also used to be a big magazine clipper and I know I still have clippings that I’ve saved over the years tucked away somewhere. Pinterest has somewhat replaced that, but I do still like to clip things for the inspiration board and “gallery wall” in my bedroom.

      I think the craziest thing about social media is how quickly everything changes. A lot of these platforms are only a few years old and who knows what new social media site will emerge this year?!

  • I must admit, I really loathe Facebook, but I reckon it’s mostly because I am not an oversharer, and I just neglected it and felt that I did not have time for it–as I am not really the type of person to say “I’m checking in here or there” or have loads of status updates. I occasionally use my blog FB page, but I never use my personal profile. I am quite a private person, so I share the most of who I am through my Instagram and my blog. I love Twitter though, although I am less active than I was a year or two ago, I do find it very good for news, industry related info, and series updates, because even a lot of programmes that I can’t get, I find out about through my timeline or through a blogger, then I am thankful for Twitter for updates, haha. And, I try to only use Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, which are my three top choices, and most helpful for me, anything else is far too difficult for me to keep up with. :) <3 /Madison

    • I’m finding that a lot of people here don’t love Facebook, which makes me feel better. I think the problem for me is that a lot of my Facebook “friends” are people I’m not really friends with anymore, so I’m not really interested in what they’re up to (kinda harsh, but true). I’ve been less active on Twitter lately, but I think that’s because I have two twitter accounts and I’m still trying to find a balance between the two. Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are my most used too, but I do like to try out new sites :)

  • Ugh I feel the same way about Facebook. I remember when it used to be closed to people with .edu email addresses only… and when it opened up to everyone. My friends and I concluded that it would pretty much be the worst things ever and these days I think we were totally right!

    • I wasn’t on it when you had to have a ‘.edu’ address to join. I knew once it started becoming popular among parents and that generation, I would no longer be interested!

  • I used to be so into Facebook but deleted my account in 2013 and I actually do not miss it. For some reason, I can’t get into Snapchat. I guess I do not understand how to use it.

    • I’m really close to shutting down the Facebook page for my blog. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t miss it either. To me, Snapchat seems like another way to share little snippets of your life (via photo or video) in a more unfiltered way.

  • Yeah, I definitely do not understand snapchat. It’s funny that you like it better than instagram, since I was just complaining how I thought snapchat was pointless thanks to instagram. But I understand what you mean, everything on instagram is so curated and structured, specially on blogger’s profiles. I think the average person’s instagram is a bit more free. My biggest beef with snap chat is that it isn’t user friendly at all. It’s difficult to navigate and a general pain in my butt lol

    Mili

    • Snapchat was so easy to use and then the updates made it so annoying! I don’t really know how to use it anymore! Definitely not user friendly at all!

    • I wouldn’t say that I like Snapchat better than Instagram, but I do appreciate how it’s different from Instagram. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at pretty pictures, from every once in a while it’s nice to see the unfiltered side of things. But you’re right- I think I have a skewed view because I follow a lot of bloggers and fashion/lifestyle accounts and we are all trying to make our pictures as pretty as possible. I totally agree that Snapchat is not really user friendly. Some people have mentioned here that it used to be easier to use…

  • I’ve been considering getting rid of my Facebook page for Sincerely, Sara just because no one really looks at it, but I just post a new post to it out of habit now. I love Instagram! It’s my favorite followed by Twitter! I used to be obsessed with sending my friends snaps on Snapchat, but the updates have changed things and now it’s kind of confusing to use.
    ~Sara

    • I wish I could have seen Snapchat before the update- it sounds like it was better and easier to use. My sister is a big Snapchat user, so right now I’m mostly sending stuff to her, but I do like seeing other people’s snaps!

  • SHE Jenmarie

    I’m social media addicted and even looked into doing social media management for a company not too long ago! I probably use Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest the most. I feel the same about Facebook as many other bloggers do. I actually use it 24/7 but when it comes to my blog’s page, there’s not a lot of interaction though I still post on a regular basis. It’s slowly picking up but ever since Facebook changed things it hasn’t seen as much interaction. I know all the teens love Snapchat but it seems more people are starting to get into it. It’s like Instagram but with video right? Or can you do photos too?

    • I could totally see you doing social media management! I feel like Facebook is forever changing things with their algorithms and I’ve never seen a lot of interaction there. I suppose it could happen one day. Yeah, I think the teens picked up Snapchat first. My sister uses it a lot and I think she’s been snapping for a year +. You can do both photos and videos on Snapchat (and you can chat too).

  • I don’t care much for FB… I never go on my personal account and only made one for my blog because it was requirement to apply to Glam (and I still can’t figure out what I need to do to be eligible for content posts, which is neither here nor there).

    FB just makes me depressed. People who I haven’t seen or thought about in years, over sharing.

    Twitter overwhelms me. I’m following way too many people and I’m generally uninterested in what is being put on there on my feed. Sometimes I wish I could just unfollow everyone and start fresh.

    Instagram I usually love. I’m guilty of spending far too much time over styling and trying to give the illusion that life is more exciting than it is. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it and everyones *too* overly stylized perfect lives.

    Pinterest is the one social media that I actually have a really good following on, use all the time, and mostly really enjoy. I’m not super crazy about the ‘picked for you’ pins, and I’m constantly trying to create a better feed for myself by unfollowing group boards that have thousands of pinners… those are just kind of a train wreck in my opinion.

    http://www.iamchiconthecheap.com

    • ?Ahh, interesting! I didn’t realize you needed a Facebook page for Glam. I guess I shouldn’t completely delete mine then, although I wasn’t planning to. I was just considering being less active there.? Exactly what you said about Facebook- I log on and see updates and I’m like, “Who are these people?!” I suppose I could always go through and filter my newsfeed…
      Maybe you should start fresh with Twitter if you want to! I like to be pretty selective with my Twitter feed and every few months I’ll unfollow some accounts if I don’t think they’re adding to my feed.

      Haha, I know what you mean about Instagram! My life is really not that exciting, especially this past month, which is why I haven’t had much to instagram! It is nice to escape for a little bit on Instagram though.

      I used to pin of things every day, but over time I slowed down a bit. I think maybe it was when they started adding in the random pins- then it got a bit overwhelming. I do usually go on binge pinning sprees from time to time though.

  • haha I read that post too and pretty much agreed. I hate Facebook. Personally would love to delete it but need it for work and my family would flip out. I really hope FB doesn’t screw up Instagram and start inviting the ‘rents on. That’s why I still love Twitter… my parents haven’t figured it out lol

    I agree most platforms take a minute to adjust to. I’m in the same boat as Snapchat. I’m still learning the ropes but it’s doing a lot of big things so I’m just being an observer right now.

    • Seems like a lot of people here wish they could get rid of Facebook! Haha, yes, I’m glad my parents haven’t figured out Twitter yet either :) I don’t see that happening anytime soon, since they don’t have Facebook yet (thank goodness).