By Darren Johnson
We’d written an article called “The Best Social Media for You” in Spring 2017 and promised a sequel. To recap, in order, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter ranked Nos. 1-5 respectively.
Now, let’s get into the next 5:
6. YouTube — The comments on this site are primitive and vile, and the ads are often poorly done and annoying (hint: don’t use Chrome to view this site; instead use another browser with an ad blocker), but there’s endless content here and one can learn a lot based on all of the instructional videos. So-called “influencers” also are strongest in video form. You can hook into your campus wi-fi and YouTube isn’t usually blocked, unlike other video sites. Just put on your ear buds. YouTube is a decent vehicle for visual learners; just be wary of the comments.
7. Quora — This is a Q&A site, where people post queries and get responses. It’s much headier than the other social media mentioned here, save LinkedIn. Many of the people answering are bona fide experts, so it’s not a bad place to help you better understand your academic readings and make what you’ve learned “come to life.” Your history textbook may be dull, but perhaps an Ivy League history professor responding to a query can make you really understand what had happened and why it was important, for example. The site’s algorithm is excellent, showing you relevant authors and content and prioritizing the best answers.
8. Pinterest — Again, it’s all about the algorithm — and your interests. Start to create “boards” for your various interests, including one for your major. This site does skew a bit older than the typical college student age, but it can grow with you. Its users are very loyal. Find the Campus News board here.
9. Reddit — Here’s where interesting links get posted and discussed, and this site has a good mix of photos vs. text. This is a great way to dissect so-called “fake news” and have conversations about things that interest you. Reddit has about 250M users per month, so there are few tumbleweeds. Your posts will get engagement. Users vote up-worthy content, so it is easy to find.
10. Houseparty — This app is capturing Generation Z by storm and ushers in the next wave of social media — virtual reality. With Houseparty, you can “hang out” with all your buds at the same time in a video-fed, chatterbox setting. Perhaps this will help negate some of the isolation many people feel using other “social” media.
Be careful, as many of these social media can be “time wasters,” as well. Do a 24-hour inventory of your usage. Get a notepad. Write down how many hours and minutes you spend on apps in a day and what you were doing and how you felt at the time. Then analyze — was the time spent online productive, or were you just engaging in mindless viewing? Did the experience may you happy, angry or sad? Eliminate social media that doesn’t have positive value. Look up from your phone. Enjoy the real world around you, as well!