I feel like I have learned quite a bit this semester when understanding the function of social media in today’s communication. The key ingredient of course is social. These services are created and structured around connecting with people. Each service provides its own unique constraints and/or audience and learning the intricacies of both of these situational elements provides a more meaningful experience with social media.
I have given the most attention to SnapChat throughout the semester. I was more interested in this platform because it is relatively new and quite popular with the millennial generation. One unexpected source of entertainment has been sitting on the couch with my two younger children and playing with the face recognition software. I know this is not necessarily what one may think about when it comes to social media. Usually we are connecting with people outside of our immediate area. SnapChat uploads new skins for their face recognition every day and I get a kick out of playing with them all with the kids. We make silly faces together and see how our facial expressions creat animations with the skins. Several of them also have voice changing settings which provides extra hilarity. When we record a funny face that we find particularly amusing, I will send it to my siblings. It is also nice getting snaps from my sisters about what they are up to without having to share that moment with an entire friends list. What SnapChat offers is a more lightweight means of connecting to people you care about without involving the permanence of a Facebook timeline.
Google+ has been a largely fruitless venture. It gives me ghost town vibes when I play around on it. Something that is interesting about interaction with social media, and this may be personal, is the reluctance to invite people to join you. I feel like sending invites to people to join Google+ is kind of like asking all the popular kids to a party that you know probably won’t be that fun. To be honest though, Google+ is not very intuitive to use and I may have mentioned this before. While Facebook is uber simple to interact with, I felt like I was asking far too many questions on Google+. Though I wonder how much of this is related to the kind of standard that Facebook (and Myspace before it) has set with its structure. I did get one notification from someone on Google+. It was from my daughter’s godmother. So, I guess it’s making a comeback.
Finally, there is Twitter. I still just cannot get a groove with this platform. I really want to though. I think my trouble with Twitter is in relation to the presidential race. Twitter carries so much weight, even though it is often dead weight, that I am timid about creating a persona through it. There is so little room to express a thought in a tweet and I worry that once it is out there it will get misinterpreted in some character damaging way. I do admire people that can use this medium well. I try to think about creative ways to use Twitter. Like, maybe I could use it to make sarcastic political statements. I don’t think anyone had done that yet. The problem is I am not very good at sarcasm.