The Pros And Cons Of Each Major Social Media Platform

The Pros And Cons Of Each Major Social Media Platform

Let's just start filing selfies and filters under "necessary evil."

Social media’s benefits and drawbacks is one of those topics that no one can quite seem to agree on. Some people have made a successful career out of social media, some people will say it’s their favorite way to spend their free time and some people will equate it to the devil and blame it for all of the modern world’s problems. The most accurate take on social media is probably the point of view that admits both the positives and the negatives of social media. Each form of social media is different, and each one has pros and cons. It’s important to note that these aren’t ranked; choose between Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram? Please.

1. Instagram

Pros: Instagram is a great social media for self-expression. You can post photos of your friends, yourself and what you’re doing on your feed and your story. It’s probably also one of the easiest to navigate while still leaving room for a lot of creativity.

Cons: Not sure about you guys, but my feed has sponsored posts from companies I don’t follow about every three posts, and it drives me nuts. I also want to know who at Instagram’s corporate office decided that we wanted our posts ordered by some algorithm and not chronologically -- how am I supposed to post at just the right time to get the max amount of likes? Ugh.

2. Twitter

Pros: Twitter is arguably the funniest social media on this list; even though a lot of the funniest tweets are recycled Tumblr memes, they’re somehow funnier on Twitter. Twitter’s direct messaging system is also super quick and easy to use, whether you’re sharing tweets with a friend or ~sliding~ into that cutie from math class’ DMs.

Cons: People get really angry really quick on Twitter; maybe it’s because the 180-character limit on Tweets don’t allow people to put very much context to their thoughts, but Twitter is probably one of the social media you see the most arguments on.

3. Tumblr

Pros: Tumblr is the social media equivalent of the cool, artsy friend we all wish we could be. If Instagram is the social media you use to express yourself to the outside world, then Tumblr is pretty much your diary. It’s a great place to explore your creative side, discover relatively unknown poets and artists and just vent when you need to. Bonus points for how easy the app makes it to reblog posts.

Cons: The app’s reblogging ability is probably it’s only redeeming quality; links on the mobile app don’t always work and it has a host of other issues. Tumblr also has a lot of unhealthy communities lurking if you look hard enough: pro-eating disorder, suicidal and pornographic blogs can be found by typing in the right hashtags. Luckily, Tumblr is working on this, but it’s still a big issue.

4. Facebook

Pros: Let’s be real here, none of us would remember each other’s birthdays if it weren’t for Facebook’s nifty little reminders. It’s also the one social media that literally everyone and their grandmother have, and therefore the best social media outlet to use to update your family on what you’re doing and who your friends are!

Cons: Facebook’s messenger app is admittedly a little slow and glitchy, and I can’t remember the last time I used it for anything but messaging my grandma or deleting messages from creepy spam accounts. Facebook’s privacy settings and anti-harassment abilities are definitely lacking too -- if someone is harassing or bullying you, Facebook’s best response is often just that of “just block them," which doesn’t allow you to see if they’re still posting about you without tagging you.

5. Snapchat

Pros: Filters! Flipped camera! Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Vice and other cool Snapchat stories to browse through! Snapchat may not feel like a social media because it started off as an enhanced-texting-but-with-pictures app, but now it’s so much more. It’s one of the few social media that seemed to just keep getting better with every update: filters, group Snapchats and stories made Snapchat the super popular and well-loved app it is today.

Cons: The fact that you can’t turn off the “opened” function; maybe I opened your Snapchat but don’t have time to reply, I’m not ignoring you! “Leaving someone on open” has become synonymous with a virtual slap in the face, and there’s no way to turn it off. Let’s not even dive into the creepy, address-down-to-the-number geo-map included in a recent update.

6. Pinterest

Pros: Some of my coolest recipes, decorations and DIYs have come from Pinterest. It’s the perfect site to turn to when you want to switch up your closet, need ideas for formal hair or makeup or want to decorate your home for a party of any kind. It’s also a great place for bloggers to get attention drawn to their photos and posts, especially when they’re first starting out!

Cons: Pinterest is infamous for putting really unrealistic expectations on its users. Not on purpose of course, but all of these great ideas and recipes can make people using Pinterest feel like they’re the only ones not putting two hours into their hairstyles every day, making their children vegan, gluten-free, colorful lunches or buying $350 ballet flats. I promise -- it isn’t just you that doesn’t do a prom-worthy smokey eye for work.

Every social media outlet has great aspects and problematic areas, but they all do an awesome job of doing what they’re best at: helping us procrastinate! Can you really say you’re not reading this article on some form of social media and simultaneously avoiding doing something you should probably get done? It’s okay, that’s what social media was made for.

Cover Image Credit: Anthill

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Snapchat Could Be On Its Way Out As A Top Social Media Platform

Snapchat is suffering a long slow death.

I remember when Snapchat first came out. It was a big deal. The next big thing since Facebook. It came out around the same time Instagram did. Both were geared toward using pictures as a means for sharing your social life. It was a movement against Facebook status updates and lengthy paragraphs.

Rather, the two apps have focused on the mantra "a picture is worth a thousand words." The only problem is Instagram is changing and constantly has the room to advance as a formal platform, whereas Snapchat is dying a slow death do its dwindling audience and minimal areas improvement can happen for this informal platform.

The most recent Snapchat updates could have been the ones to send people over the edge and away from using this as a social media platform.

The new layout is disorganized and makes it difficult to watch other followers stories. Not to mention Instagram has also added stories that are more organized and overall more attracting to look at. You have to scroll through your chats in order to watch peoples specific stories and you can't go through all the stories with just a tapping motion anymore.

They put adds and big names to put their own stories that are annoying and time-consuming. Going through Snapchat stories now could take me over thirty minutes. Social media apps are supposed to be designed to be a convenient and quick way to stay in touch not over an hour of your time to watch what people are doing.

I have found that as we move away from the high school scene the appeal for Snapchat also fades. Many college students are busy with classes or joining on-campus activities that no longer requires them to live their lives through the phone. I have not had the time or the desire to go on Snapchat in the last four months because of the time-consuming nature and the immature stuff posted on Snapchat.

It was how people got attention in high school. In high school, having Snapchat was how the cool people stayed cool and the uncool people watched everyone else's lives. It was a platform for people to be able to do immature and illegal things without anyone finding out. It is the app parents can't seem to figure out or have the desire to use. Becuase Snapchat is so appealing to the middle school/high school realm it is only targeting a small audience than an overall larger audience.

You may not agree with me and still find Snapchat as appealing as it was when it came out years ago. Social media cannot last forever and this was already observed through the downfall of Facebook. People will start to move away from something so informal, time-consuming, disorganized, and unsafe as a platform on to the next big thing.

Cover Image Credit: Luke Porter via Unsplash

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If You Answer Yes To Any Of These 10 Questions, You Might Need To Breakup With Social Media

Don't let social media make decisions for you.


Look, I know I sound crazy, but just bear with me on this one. Think about it: how many times are you hanging out with a friend, and both of you are just sitting on your phones? Maybe you're even sitting right next to each other and just texting them instead of verbally communicating (call me crazy, but I feel like humans have vocal chords for a reason).

And maybe even worse: you guys can't have a real conversation in person because who you are online is different than who you are offline. You know, the absolute worst part is that this kind of scenario is just the tip of an iceberg larger than Mt. Everest. There's also cyberbullying, an increase in self-esteem issues, and even more (maybe that we don't even realize yet).

Giving up social media for lent really opened my eyes to the issues with social media and the burdens it places on both society's shoulders and an individual's shoulders.

Honestly, I felt so much happier with myself when giving it up that when I could finally use it again, I didn't really want to use it. In fact, using it kind of stresses me out now, so I've decided to break up with social media for good.

Well, kind of. I'm keeping Facebook so my family, especially those in England, don't think I'm dead or missing. I'm basically remodeling my personal twitter account so I'm just following poetry and topics I actually care about (and memes but I like to keep that part on the down low).

As for Instagram, I'm going to delete my personal and keep my photography account. Lastly, I'm just going to use Snapchat for communication and keeping up with my friend's lives. Basically, anything that makes me unrealistically self-conscious or more selfish, I'm getting rid of or modifying it to not be that way.

If your relationship with social media is at a crossroads, ask yourself these 10 questions:

1. Do you tweet more to your drafts than to your actual feed?

2. Do you constantly check Instagram to see how many likes (or comments) your selfie got? And/or do you check Snapchat to see how many views (or replies) your selfie got on your story?

3. If you didn't get enough likes, comments, replies, views, etc., do you delete the selfie?

4. Does scrolling through your feed make you feel self-conscious about characteristics of yourself that you normally would not be self-conscious about, or even self-conscious about characteristics you love about yourself?

5. Do you find yourself scrolling through social media while hanging out with a friend rather than talking to them in person?

6. Do you get in fights with friends, family, or significant others when one of you misinterprets something that someone said on social media?

7. Do you find yourself acting completely different on social media than you would normally in person?

8. Are you getting fewer things done (homework, projects, etc.) because of spending time on social media?

9. Is it hard for you to talk about uncomfortable, controversial, and/or significant topics in person?

10. Do you struggle to connect and converse with people in person?

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these questions, or honestly even any of these questions, I would strongly suggest taking a hard look at your social media: who you follow, what you post, how you act, etc.

You don't need to cut social media cold-turkey if you don't want to, but I think you'll find that your life is much simpler without the stresses and burdens it places onto your shoulders. Trust me, the process isn't easy, but it is liberating in every way imaginable.

Don't let social media wear the pants in your relationship, people.
Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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