The Pros and Cons of Different Social Media Outlets.

I recently watched the first episode of a show called Black Mirror on Netflix. I had been told a million times by different people to watch the show, but never found the time. Or maybe I had the time, but choose something different for some reason. Whatever the case may be, I finally saw it and the first episode was great. 

The entire thing was about how social media creates an addiction in us and changes how we act in order to accommodate a fake online lifestyle that makes us look more interesting than we actually are. Now, I know the point of this series was to show how we should leave social media all together or at the very least, not rely on it so heavily, but anything in small doses can't be that bad, right? Well, I don't care if it is.

Social media is fun and I'm not going to give it all up, but I also don't want to become a slave to it. My solution? Figure out which social media sites/apps give me the most enjoyment, teach me the most each day, and keep me connected the most to the people I care about. Additionally, how much time can I spend on these sites without it wasting my time. Whatever I find using the pros and cons method, will determine which sites I will visit more or less (if at all) in the coming year. Hopefully this can assist you as well, though I'm sure your pros and cons list will be much different than my own. Let's get started.

Facebook

The juggernaut of social media.  

Pros:

  • Keeps me connected to my family members.
  • Has the most people I know on it to connect with.
  • Allows for me to share videos and articles with the most people that I know.
  • Shows memories of old posts.

Cons:

  • Becomes over-saturated with posts about the same trending subjects, especially when politics are the trend.
  • You find out your friends and family's real opinions on subjects you try to shy away from until you have to eventually unfollow their posts, but not unfriend, because what an argument THAT would become.
  • It looks boring.
  • The site has mostly devolved into shared media as opposed to original content from it's members.
  • Shows memories of old posts.

Final Decision: Check Facebook once or twice a week, but for the most part, leave it behind. It's dated.

Instagram

Hooray for pictures! Oh, yeah, and video. And live streaming.

Pros:

  • Normally, people post original content only once a day and don't 'share' other peoples stuff too often.
  • Most members seem to post their best photo of the day, which is sometimes aesthetically pleasing.
  • You can follow your favorite celebrities, heroes, and companies.

Cons:

  • The ads get annoying.
  • I find myself scrolling endlessly and liking pictures for no reason.
  • The fact that when I post something, it feels temporarily good to get my 'likes' into the double digits, and feel a bit hurt when they don't get many. (Dumb, I know)

Final decision: Post only a few times a week and spend no more than 5 minutes on scrolling through the feed a day. It is nice to see what friends are up to, so I'm not going to ditch Instagram, but it can become a massive waste of time pretty quickly.

Snapchat

Send pics, videos, and texts, then immediately forget what you sent when responded to.

Pros:

  • Quick media, that similar to real moments, deletes after they are viewed.
  • Filters are fun.
  • Easily share your day without anything being permanent.

Cons:

  • I always forget what I've sent after I send it, making the response I get confusing.
  • Probably feeds into the instant gratification monster.
  • Kills my battery faster than any other app on my phone.

Final Decision: I'll keep using this as often as I'd like. Since there isn't really any endless feeds to scroll though, it doesn't feel like too much of a waste of time. I'll probably just avoid this one when my battery is 40% or below.

Tumblr

The opposite of Cheers: Where nobody knows who you are.

Pros:

  • Anonymity
  • A lot of aesthetically pleasing imagery and generally funny memes. 
  • This is where I find most of my phone backgrounds.

Cons:

  • Wastes an incredible amount of time.
  • People are consistently complaining about their rights or someone else's rights through the use of really annoying, drawn out posts.
  • A lot of ads.
  • Did I mention this is an incredible waste of time?

Final Decision: I get on Tumblr MAYBE once a week as it is, so giving this one up for the most part wouldn't be that big of a deal. I won't delete it, but I may only visit it once every couple weeks to change my phone background. (Yes, I have a problem.)

LinkedIn

The place to pretend your job experience is better than it actually is.

Pros:

  • Connect to potential clients or future employers. (Great for networking or following up after meeting someone.) 
  • Easy to export your resume and keep that info all in one place.
  • Has a LOT of members.
  • Makes it easier to find and apply for jobs.

Cons:

  • Receive constant invites from people you've never met who are "connection collectors".

Final Decision: I will definitely continue using LinkedIn, as it is almost expected by most employers that you have one. Someone without an account may look unprofessional, especially if you are in the tech industry, like myself.

Twitter

Quick thought vomit that hardly any of my friends use.

Pros:

  • Good medium to share ideas and get responses back from strangers.
  • I consistently find more interesting articles via Twitter than any other social media site.
  • I've met a lot of really cool people off of here and interacted with quite a few celebrities.
  • Great place to market to different audiences for random projects.

Cons:

  • Sometimes a waste of time scrolling through the main feed.
  • You can't edit a tweet once it's been posted.

Final Decision: I really like Twitter and will continue to use it daily for news and developing connections with strangers.

 

That's basically all of the social media I use, unless Reddit counts? (Let's not count Reddit for right now.) I'm not sure if any of these helped you or if you'll be making your own pros/cons list for the coming year, but it definitely helped me. I just needed to get my thoughts into writing sometimes.  I'll see you all next year!