I was born in the millennial generation, and I started getting absorbed to the blue light screens at around the same time all these technology and social media companies experienced a surge in their business. Naturally, now that I’m 18, I have had plenty of years of access to the technological advances and social media websites that seem to dictate many of our lives nowadays.
This is a post to show why I use each form of social media platform to enhance a more positive attitude towards my usage – which I hope that you can use to reflect upon yours too.
1. Personal: The following are any form of online social networking service that I use for convenience, adaptability and ‘need’:
- Facebook (surprise!): Started around 2009, and normally use it on a daily basis. The ‘best’ thing about Facebook is that it makes you feel connected with all your friends, acquaintances, and strangers, making it really easy for you to snoop on other people’s public business and always feel ‘up to date‘. Though I mainly use Facebook to keep up with news sites and use the Messenger, I have to admit that I am drawn by the handiness of its pages. To me, it almost feels like the ‘must-have’ social media website, and to some extent, that’s fine. But there’s a fine line between fine and addiction.
- Gmail: Only use it for emails, and though there’s no ‘News Feed’ or chatting going on here, it creates a similar sense of urgency to the user. Constantly checking emails is pretty much as bad as checking your Facebook Homepage, as it creates a distraction from your (more important) task. It’s particularly damaging to your concentration if you see an email that you can’t reply at the moment, because it will then continue to linger on the back of your head until you reply the mail.
- Tumblr: Though I don’t use it much for personal purposes now, it was a habit to scroll down my feed to like, reblog, or just skim through other people’s posts. It’s more aesthetic and less ‘social media’ in a sense (I don’t bother using the new Instant Messaging) for me, it’s as addictive as the other 2 in a different sense.
- YouTube: This is the new future for aspiring journalists and news reporters (in the Entertainment industry) as it’s the career for many who want to direct their own reality TV shows. It’s highly addictive for people who, like me, resort to YouTube for any form of Entertainment, tutorials, news, etc. (besides reading).
Verdict? The social media sites I use consist of 1) posts (text + pictures), 2) emails (text) and 3) photography (picture). The similarity is in their adaptability, and the fact that Facebook combines the most convenient and ‘wanted’ social media usages makes it the most luring one. YouTube different, but probably more convenient for ‘lazy’ people who resort to the Internet for some entertainment.
2. Blogging-related: I use the following sites mainly (but not restricted to) my blogging purposes, which involve anything to do with books, photography, and promoting my site.
- Instagram: This is the go-to platform for anyone that is starting ‘something’, and targets at the millennial audience. It’s simple, and it enables users to portray themselves as their ideal public identity for the rest to see. I started my ‘Bookstagram’ precisely for the reason of involving myself in the community, before starting my blog (so that I could gain followers easier).
- Goodreads: Practical in use, I started my account only hoping to be able to connect with other bibliophiles and get book ideas. But it has now become the place where I go to find and create my monthly TBR pile, look for inspirations, and update myself (and others) on books I have read, am currently reading, and want to read. Besides, it enables me to read and write short reviews for books that I may not want to post (and elaborate) on my blog.
- WordPress: I feel like this is the least ‘social media-ish’ site of all, as I use it quite strictly for blogging, though my Reader (feed/notifications) can become a distraction if I’m not too careful.
- Tumblr: Again, this is similar to Instagram in the sense that it consists of a feed of images and captions, and though it’s not as unique in the sense that your blog consists mainly of reblogged pictures, the ability to design your Tumblr website however you want to enables you to show that ‘uniqueness‘. Unlike WordPress, Tumblr enables you to completely edit your HTML and download/create your theme without having to pay for it.
- Pinterest: I’m not really a fan of this website, but I do plan on continue using it for the purpose of publicizing my blog. It’s also kind of similar to Tumblr as you can ‘pin’ photos (instead or reblogging), though I think that it’s main use is to promote the source of these pictures, which are almost always websites/blogs.
- Bloglovin’: It’s an alternative to the WordPress Reader, and I’ve read that it’s supposedly more practical and useful if you want to put your blog out there. I don’t really use it for following blogs yet, though I think that it could become useful when I start looking for more similar blogs to follow again.
Verdict? I would say Instagram is the best platform ‘make yourself known’ in other social media websites. Currently, I find WordPress and Goodreads the most useful and practical sites to use for my blogging purposes.
Two big social media sites that I didn’t mention are Twitter and Snapchat. I have never bothered to understand Twitter, and I probably never will. It’s unlike all other sites in the sense that everything is instantaneous and ‘at the moment’. It’s probably useful if you’re a hardcore fan of celebrities who do tweet and/or post about things they’re currently doing. That’s why Snapchat is also that addictive – everything is live, at the moment, and unedited. I do have the Snapchat app on my phone, but I barely use it on my own (if I do use it, I mainly skim through other people’s feeds).
Oh, and I forgot to mention about Vine, which I don’t use, simply because watching 6-seconds videos of strangers is not a reason good enough for me to want to create an account. Also, other networking sites also have this video feature now (Instagram).
Even though I’m not using all the trendy social websites now, I still use many of them, probably more than what I need. I started being sensible of the sites that I use after I read the work ‘Deep Work‘ by Cal Newport, who fervently advocates of the use against social media websites due to their impracticability and ability to distract you from the tasks that you have at hand. Though I will probably keep using the sites that I currently use, I will probably lower my activity on the sites that I feel do not contribute much to my day-to-day work, and just add to the list of bad social media habits I have gained throughout these years.
What about you? What are your primary social media websites, and why do you use (or don’t use) them?