The social media news that I’ve been hearing recently is teens are leaving Facebook.
My knee jerk response: I’ll come with you.
Facebook is not my favorite way to connect online.
According to a mediabistro article, my attraction to Instagram is due to a desire to escape from Facebook.
It’s kind of true. I mean I’ve been on FB for two years, but still I feel like the new kid walking into the high school cafeteria.
Facebook feels intimidating.
The high school cafeteria
My own kids (both teenagers) have their complaints about Facebook. One of them posts a status weekly, the other almost never. Both have shut it down at times.
But both agree Facebook is mostly “necessary”–kind of a virtual home base for social networking. Because in their world, Facebook has become the place where clubs, events, and school projects get updated (I get this, because the majority of my FB interaction is via writers’ groups).
Right now though, the two biggest social media sites for them are Instagram and Snapchat.
Snapchat is basically a photo messaging app. You send a photo/graphic/video to a friend, but with a time limit (your friend(s) can only see that image for 1 to 10 seconds, the sender makes that choice). After that, the image can no longer be seen. However, the recipient can take a screenshot of your image, so in a way, there’s a chance that image will never disappear.
My son was quick to point out that he gets alerted when someone takes a screenshot AND more importantly, he said, he only sends these images to actual friends. In fact, the majority of his friends on Snapchat are people he knows in real life.
The definition of friendship can get a bit murky on social media. I think Facebook can easily get watered down with school stuff, work stuff, and acquaintances. Sometimes it reminds me of a community phone book/bulletin board, almost generic. Maybe that’s why I often find it intimidating. It’s not easy to be yourself in an environment where you don’t actually know everyone and they don’t actually know you.
One of my kids even said, My Facebook profile doesn’t feel like the real me.
I get this, especially when I receive this email from FB every week:
Nope, never heard of her
So, yeah, like my kids, I gravitate to the sites where I find it more comfortable to make connections. I like to take pictures, so Instagram is my favorite right now, but I also like the oh so pretty, Pinterest.
According to that same mediabistro article, I’m on Pinterest because, “I want what I can’t have.”
Let me tell you, that is not true. For example, I saw The Brookie (half brownie, half cookie) on Pinterest, I pinned it, made it (gluten free!) and ate it.
Then, promptly took its picture and posted it online.
You can have your Brookie and eat it too
Because regardless of my feelings about FB, I’m still trying to connect.
Getting personal on Twitter
I guess it’s a matter of finding the site that allows you to make the kind of connection you’re looking for. It’s great to have choices. But if I had to pick just one, right now (right now is very significant, because things change so quickly these days), I’d choose Instagram. Somehow it manages to feel cozy in the vast, digital landscape–and I kind of feel calmer there.
And calm is good.
Because you can’t always have a Brookie (or a donut).
What’s your favorite social media site? Do you see Facebook as a social media base?
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