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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Nintendo's Consoles Ranked Worst To Best

Spanning 30 plus years, Nintendo has released some amazing and even some embarrassingly bad video game consoles.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I was introduced to my first Nintendo video game console. Okay, the year was 1987 and it was Kentucky, the home of my sister and her husband. Not that it matters. What matters is the love affair between the subdued gray box of plastic and myself, an affair that is now three decades long.

From an arguably overweight plumber to a Hyrulian hero of legend to a spacing-faring bounty hunter named Samus Aran, I was smitten with all the adventures the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had to offer.

Although I'm far from old, I am grown, and I don't have the same time to devote to gaming like I once did. Complicating matters is multiple consoles upon which I play games. There's also a slew of homework as I finish my undergrad and a handful of responsibilities that prevent me from settling in and playing to my eyes and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Despite owning a number of consoles outside of the Nintendo brand, I'm a Nintendo through-and-through. Thankfully, Nintendo has put out quite a few consoles in my time, and it's below that I'll present a ranking of Nintendo consoles from worst to best.

12. Virtual Boy

Admittedly, I never bought the Virtual Boy. Every time I tried to play on it at Best Buy or Target, I ended up getting a headache, potentially the result of its poor attempt at serving up a 3D video game experience. Also hurting it was that every game was red in tone and the inconvenient, bulky design the console's intended portability.

11. Wii U

While the concept was intriguing, I never really saw the Wii U's potential realized. As a consequence, I never really cared for it and it's ungodly expensive Gamepad controller. On that note, quite a few of the friends I know preferred to use a controller other than the Gamepad, so...

10. Gameboy

Ranking this so low almost hurts, as it is the granddaddy of portable Nintendo gaming, but the games do not stand the test of time. The damn thing required too frequent battery changes, a screen that was too tiny, and a constant source of light, an inconvenience that ruined this on car rides at night. If memory serves, there was a backlit Gameboy released, but it was far too late, in my opinion.

9. 3DS

While I have to extremely boss games on the 3DS, they're remakes of old-school games from the PlayStation 2 and the original Gameboy. Were it not for those two games, I'd not have wasted my money on what never really delivered on the 3D side of things nor really showed us anything that an earlier handheld didn't already show us.

8. Wii

Now, this is an odd entry, and I sometimes will rank it higher than I am now. However, despite some of the stellar games released on the Wii, this machine was more gimmick than a mainstay. Yeah, "Smash Bros," "Mario Kart," and "Metroid Prime 3" were all amazing, but I don't want to be so physically active while playing a game. Also, were it not for the Virtual Console, this would rank even lower.

7. DS

I only bought this to help pass the hours while wasting away entire days during my enlistment. However, this is far from a throwaway Nintendo experience. The two screens made for a unique way to play games, and its library of games was solid, too. Of course, most games I played were mostly retro game remasters and remakes.

6. Gamecube

This lil' box of a console was deemed to cutesy and too childish for more hardcore gamers, but it had some hard-hitting games that stand the test of time. "Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker" was, far superior to "Ocarina of Time," an assertion sure to get me killed. "Metroid Prime" as both fun and an amazing sight to behold. There are countless more games, but I'll say no more.

Don't agree with my ranking? Fight me.

5. Gameboy Advance

The Gameboy Advance was everything the original Gameboy should have been, were it not for those pesky lil' technical limitations. The advance had quite a decent library and provided a better gaming experience than its predecessor. Did I mention it was backlit? No? It was backlit. Now I've said it.

4. NES

Simple in design and its library of games is out of this world. Chances are, if there's a remake of an old NES game, I have that remake. Now, I would hook up and play the actual console, but, if you've ever owned one, you know that the console itself was cantankerous.

3. Switch

"Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is reason enough for this console's inclusion in my top three. However, it's blend of portability elevates this console to lofty heights. "Mario: Odyssey" is on point, and being able to lie in bed AND play "Skyrim" makes a strong case. Of course, additional points were given for potential of the console.

2. N64

By virtue of its cartridge versus compact disc format, the N64 should have failed in the face of competition with the PlayStation. Anyone who has played "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" or "Super Mario 64," among other games, know full well why this console is still considered one of the best of its era.

1. SNES

Not only is the most significant console of my formative teen years, it has the beefiest library of games of any other console on this list, save the original NES. "Chrono Trigger" is possibly one of the greatest RPG experiences of all time. "Super Metroid" improved upon the original in some many ways it's sick. "Mega Man X?" Still one of the loveliest Mega Man games ever.

I really could on forever in this console's case. It had it all. RPGs by the truckload. Adventure games in the hundreds. Sports games aplenty. It had a little bit for everyone. Truth be told, I don't think a console has been quite as pleasing as the SNES was, and still is, although the Switch has potential. Maybe...

Some consoles or portables were omittied because they either did not release in North America or they were simply an earlier model with the most minor of changes.

Anyway, what do you think? Would you agree with my ranking? Any choices surprise or enrage you? Drop me a message and let me know.

Cover Image Credit: Umich

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YouTubers Have Influence & It Should Be Used For The Best

Societal impact runs wild across the platform, and recklessness will cause damage.

YouTube is a place where people learn new things, create fantastic films, meet other inspired artists, and discover the beauty of a million lives. It is a source of entertainment, encouragement and information open to the public.

It also offers a career for those who are interested in becoming a YouTuber or a Vlogger. As incredible as this can be, the influence that goes with a position in front of the screen will serve people positively or negatively.

Those watching will be affected.

Such an effect can be a good thing. Sometimes we are uplifted and enlightened by the voices we hear. Other times we are left unsure and upset.

YouTubers hold a massive amount of responsibility online due to the number of viewers. Their digital jurisdiction shouldn’t be taken lightly and their presence on such a well-known site can impact different communities. Reckless behavior can reap damaging results. Lies can be supersized and gross activities can wreck minds.

Those working for YouTube do a good job regulating, but that doesn’t change the fact that bad things happen. YouTubers mess up. We have to keep ourselves aware of the influence they bear and remain steady. As always, sometimes words are said and gestures are made that can be hurtful. We have to move on.

Along with that, people who stand in the spotlight should proceed truthfully and kindly. I’ve seen so many YouTubers and Vloggers who are caring and honest. They post videos that motivate, encourage, entertain and educate. On the other hand, I’ve watched YouTubers who do not care about anyone but themselves. Who treat others like dirt and lack any kind of consideration.

Today in our world, it can be so easy to influence others. It is a fairly simple process to use a camera and upload a video, post a picture and write a caption. We can make an appearance in many areas online and profess what we believe, provide information and teach others how to do their makeup. This kind of fame has been reached by numerous people and it will continue to be reached by others.

With these abilities, we should continue to benefit others in different ways and use the power that we have to create quality videos and posts. We can improve our source of entertainment and step in front of the camera with confidence and sincerity.

YouTube is incredible and we should continue to make it even better.

Cover Image Credit: By Jakob Owens

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