We are on a lot of social media; it provides us access to information, communication, and access to people across the world. But social media can often impede actual socialization, as people are more occupied in documenting their life online or viewing content. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram take up so much of our lives now that even removing one would vastly improve our lives. If you had to choose one app to delete, which app would you eliminate? Here’s a guide to the aforementioned four social media apps, an explanation as to why certain users gravitate towards certain apps, and which app will have the greatest impact when deleted.
Facebook has transformed into the most professional social media network. Official Facebook pages for brands and celebrities, along with the flexibility to use text, photos, video, or events, mean that Facebook has become the most effective platform for public, official business such as promotion, networking, and selling items. Facebook has built up their marketplace to take advantage of this professionalism, and its communities are second to none in connecting people of similar interests.
Even among friends, Facebook posts are more permanent and official than tweets; a single Facebook post inherently holds more value than a single tweet because of the former’s versatility compared to the latter. Facebook’s recent change to emphasize friend’s posts on timelines makes it perfect for more formal posts, while tweets on Twitter are shorter, less important, and can often fade into the background of the Twitter timeline.
Because of all these factors, Facebook profiles have become almost as formal as emails accounts; they contain relationship, educational, and occupational information, and friending someone new on Facebook gives users a much more accurate and well-rounded view of who they are. People who want to view lots of content but only use social media for professional tasks or posts generally gravitate towards Facebook because of its large variety of content and more formal, profile-based system.
Twitter is the other popular text-based social media platform. It’s vastly more personal and spontaneous than Facebook, meant for short thoughts and discussions, a reason why Twitter limits tweets to 240 characters. Twitter also allows users to see a more human and relatable side of celebrities, many of whom use Twitter above other platforms to express their own inner, unfiltered thoughts.
The retweet function on Twitter is also incredibly helpful because it allows users to express themselves with other people’s words while also giving credit to the original tweeter. This helps good, relatable content travel outside of the original tweeter’s followers quickly; as opposed to Facebook, comments on Twitter hold the same value and mobility as normal tweets, meaning that comment tweets can create huge networks of conversations stemming from just one tweet, while Facebook comments stay on their parent posts and can’t be spread across the network.
The culture of subtweeting on Twitter also makes it unique to other social media platforms. People subtweet because they believe that subtweets will simply disappear into the mass of other tweets that are posted every minute. People who like discussion, unfiltered expression, and honesty use Twitter to open up without too many people seeing, and to enjoy the mobility of tweets that allow any good piece of content to spread and become viral quickly.
If Twitter is the most authentic social media platform, then Snapchat is the most personal. Unlike Twitter, Instagram, or even Facebook, following celebrities on Snapchat’s Discover page has not taken off, and the more curated stories on there from Teen Vogue, Life Hacks, or the Wall Street Journal aren’t exactly what most users think of when using Snapchat. Instead, users usually interact with a narrow list of friends using direct snaps, and then view the stories of a larger group of more distant friends. Because official accounts and friends’ stories are on opposite sides of the app, and because users usually don’t venture over to the Discover page,
Since Snapchat has limited the platform to group friends' posts together, Snapchat stories are actually more public than tweets, because most stories will actually be viewed by many people rather than being buried under a storm of other tweets. However, the casual nature of Snapchat and the fact that the viewing audience is so personal and limited ensures that the platform remains fairly honest and focused on peer groups without any distracting outside content. People who want to see what others are doing and generally want to interact with friends only use Snapchat to avoid the clutter of news and outside content on other platforms and instead focus on the lightly filtered stories of their friends.
The most curated of the social media platforms, Instagram can also be the least personal network of these four. Posts are usually well thought out and meaningful, but less honest or instantaneous than Snapchat and less flexible in personal expression than Facebook or Twitter. Viewing a person’s Instagram account may show part of who they are, but only a carefully managed, edited side that has less depth or breadth than other networks. However, these posts are usually of fairly high quality because of this curated style of Instagram, and this standard means that users are all but guaranteed to view every photo posted on their feed.
While celebrity Instagram accounts provide less authenticity than their Twitter accounts, they are still effective at making celebrities seem more relatable. However, Instagram’s real weapon is the combination of these celebrity Instagram accounts and the addition of Instagram stories. When Instagram launched their blatant ripoff of Snapchat stories, millions of users already had celebrity stories mixed in with their friends’ stories because they had already followed numerous celebrities on Instagram. This meant that, unlike Snapchat, Instagram didn’t have to wait for users to find celebrities they wanted to follow ; the platform already had a base of celebrity accounts that had millions of followers and could now post stories easily to Instagram. So while Snapchat focuses on personal interactions, Instagram provides users with both stories from friends and celebrities, as well as its main feature of sharing photos. People who enjoy predictability quality content without a lot of depth or authenticity gravitate towards Instagram, where they know exactly when they’ve viewed every new post for that day.
Which app should you delete to save time? Facebook or Twitter.
No one posts daily on Instagram, limiting the number of posts you need to view each day unless you enjoy Instagram’s Explore page much more than your Facebook timeline. Snapchat stories are pretty quick to get through as well, especially if you skip people you don’t care about. Twitter has a similarly large amount of content as Facebook, but I’ve personally found that I care less about missing tweets because of the sheer amount of tweets that are posted every day. Both Twitter and Facebook give users a massive amount of time-wasting content to view, and deleting one would definitely save them some time.
Which app should you delete to improve the quality of posts you view? Snapchat.
If you define “quality” as depth and meaning, Instagram is probably a better choice. However, the percentage of snap stories I view that actually interest me is far lower than the amount of Instagram posts I view, even though the former is much less artificial than the latter. Your usage may vary, but just think about all those people on Snapchat you follow that you don’t even talk to or care about…
Which app should you delete if you want to get to know people better? Instagram.
Seriously, all I learn about from a person’s Instagram page is where they went on vacation, who they went to prom with, and one or two activities they participate in. I get nothing about their potential hobbies or personality, and as a result, barely understand or see who they are. Facebook isn’t a lot better, but Twitter and Snapchat definitely show a little more of who someone is.
Which app will I be okay with random strangers who read my Odyssey articles adding me on? Twitter.
My Twitter is a wasteland; I retweet plenty of stuff but have basically no followers, so if you want to see my inner thoughts and feelings feel free to follow me @jaewoopepper. Everything else is reserved for friends and people I talked to for like a week and now don’t even know who I am. So go ahead on follow me on Twitter if you like, and consider analyzing and limiting your social media usage; there are always better ways to use your time!