By Christine Baker, TSB Staff
Facebook: Midnight Premiere of The Great Gatsby with the gang! Checked in at Cinemark Movies 16
Twitter: Been waiting in line for over an hour to see #theGreatGatsby #hurryup #excited
Instagram: Here’s a black and white picture of all of us waiting in line to see Gatsby!
UrbanDictionary.com couldn’t have said it better: “Social Media is your second electronic life.” Whether residents of McKinney and the rest of the world realize it or not, social media has changed the way we do things on a day-to-day basis. People used to be afraid of the Internet; afraid to post any kind of personal information. Now, everyone posts their information on the Internet through social media, maybe not an address, but personal updates on where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re with.
Most everyone is familiar with the three most popular forms of social media for young people (and some not-so-young, too): Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are many others such as Vine, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. but these are the essential basics.
How essential are these nowadays? Vital. Without them you are non-existent to virtually everyone except your co-workers and neighbors. To put this in perspective: you buy the hottest smartphone on the market, what’s the first thing you do? Call your mom? No. Text your brother? Obviously not. You locate your app store and quickly begin downloading your life on this handheld device. Then you immediately post on Facebook that “I love my new smartphone,” send a Tweet (on Twitter, of course) that you’re “Getting used to my new #smartphone #yay” and log into Instagram to offer “Check out a vintage-esque picture of my new smartphone’s box!” Once you have posted you can kick back, relax and enjoy getting notifications of how many people liked your posts while playing Words with Friends or shopping on Wanelo.
The Lowdown on Social Media (or Social Media 101)
Although we all love our social media outlets, everyone seems to be saying the same thing: “My parents are on Facebook more than I am!” Is it true? Facebook was launched Feb. 4, 2004 and replaced MySpace as the most popular social media outlet for teens. Facebook is popular for the infamous “Facebook Creeping” — when you add a friend on Facebook you immediately start going through all their pictures and their news feed to see what kind of person they are and what they like to do. It is also a place for “Checking in” at different locations such as the movies, restaurants, the mall or theme parks. Many companies have turned to Facebook as a way to get their name out there and they will offer special discounts or coupons if you like their page or check in at their location.
However, Twitter launched March 21, 2006 and is currently, in my opinion, the most popular social media network among teens. This is probably because Twitter is more personalized; you can follow whoever you want —whether it’s friends, celebrities, stores, jokes, grumpy cat, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Instagram is right up there with Twitter. Even though it didn’t launch until Oct. 6, 2010, it has made its way to the top charts and is personally my go-to social media app on a daily basis. Following celebrities, friends and even famous photographers makes Instagram fun and easy for everyone.
Asking Around About Social Media … a TSB Un-Scentific Poll
However, this is just one 19-year old girl’s opinion, so I asked around to see what other teens said was their favorite social media outlet.
“Twitter! I can say any random thing and it doesn’t’t matter or I can just go on Twitter and see the latest news,” McKinney High School graduate Nicole Gostic said.
“Twitter —it’s a good place to vent,” said Collin Tate, a University of North Texas student.
“I like Instagram best because it’s basically sharing your life through pictures,” said Emily Neerings, an MHS graduate that attends the University of Texas.
“Twitter! Because I can tweet about everything and I can see celebrity tweets too; Instagram comes in close second place though,” said MHS graduate Kristyn Leung.
“Personally, I like Vine because that tends to have the funniest stuff on it. Some people get really creative with their videos and they are hysterical,” said Hunter Maki, a McKinney Boyd graduate who attends Collin College.
“Instagram! Because is appealing to the eye with pictures instead of words,” said Hannah Behrends, a McKinney High graduate who attends Oklahoma Baptist University.
“Twitter — because I feel like its more candid and you can directly talk to celebrities,” said Mandie Berber, a University of North Texas student.
“I would have to say Instagram! I love all the filters,” MHS graduate Rachel Johnson said.
“Instagram! Because it’s a fun and artistic way to see what your friends are doing and share photos,” said MBHS junior Clarissa Maki.
All of these forms of social media seem very similar to someone who doesn’t’t understand them all inside and out, but they are all very different and there are some “unwritten rules” about what type of post goes where. Which brings us to our last must-know.
Unwritten Social Media Rules
1. NEVER use hash tags on Facebook. (Twitter and Instagram only.)
2. Emoji’s on Facebook are a no go.
3. Selfies are a dying breed, no more please. Instagram is not a modeling agency.
4. Sub-tweeting on Twitter is obnoxious. Everyone knows you’re doing it.
5. Excessive amounts of hash tags are annoying. We get your point.
6. Don’t post every little detail of your day on Facebook, we don’t want to stalk you.
7. Please don’t write more than three sentences on your Facebook status update; no one will read it all.
8. Please post something other than your lunch on Instagram, everyone is tired of seeing all your food.
Social media has quickly taken over our world, and our smartphones make is easier than ever to post constant status updates, pictures comments, and videos for everyone to see. With many of our favorite social media outlets on the top charts at Apple’s App Store — Vine at number 3, Instagram at 17, YouTube at 18, Twitter at 40 at Facebook at 56 — it’s obvious that social media really is our electronic second life.
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss Christine’s personal “social media diary” in which she takes inventory in her online existence during a recent week. Watch for this fun read on TSB soon!
Find Christine and TownSquareBuzz.com on your favorite social media outlets!