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  • Writer's pictureBryan Jun

My thoughts on various social media

I'm getting rather lazy with this category - once my current wave of busy-ness slows down (which could be postponed until retirement), I'll have more lowkey companies and apps featured. I thought I'd take this time to shell out my thoughts on the various social media apps I have personally used and have seen people use.

Big Boys - the ones everyone uses almost as necessity / to be remotely relevant in 2021

Facebook: Ironically starting this list off with one I haven't used since high school - I was actually addicted to Facebook starting from 7th grade and can proudly say I probably would have attended Harvard if it wasn't for my addiction (joking mom). I used to use it to post profile pictures of shots I thought I looked good in, do "like for a truth is" statuses to flaunt my popularity and use messenger to talk to girls I liked. I've heard it's more old-people focused now and there's just too many features, none of which are essential. I use just Messenger time to time for group chats that are too many or too cool for iMessage and also heard Marketplace is nice if you want to sell old stuff.

Instagram: Probably where most of my social media time is spent and my savior during COVID. I was averaging at least 3 hours a day on Instagram during peak COVID using stories as a means of having something to do and engaging with people I couldn't see. I post rather controversial stories now that (1) I'm at the age where I really don't care about my "reputation" and (2) I've done it for awhile now I have a steady stream of people that get a kick out of it, which makes me feel like a micro-influencer (also jokes). I think it's the ultimate FOMO inducing / make you feel bad platform as pictures really do say 1,000 words. Stories makes these things a million times worse - but if you use the mute feature it gets a little better.

Snapchat: I also stopped using this as a new years resolution which wasn't really hard to do given I wasn't a big fan of "streaks" (probably too old for it too) and aside from ironically sending my face to people with the caption "I'm so good looking," I didn't really see value in the app. Maps (or whatever the tracking feature is called) is pretty creepy and scary (and somewhat FOMO inducing) and I'm not particularly interested in seeing people's salad lunch 5 times a week.

Twitter: I deactivated Twitter senior year of high school because it became super toxic at my school and everyone used it to subtweet - needless to say the keyboard warriors of the time who had "Twitter clout" using the platform to put people down or flex about their meaningless high school sports teams aren't doing amazing in life. As I get older (and as Twitter shifted their business model) I actually see a lot of value, especially if you cater carefully who you follow. There's a ton of big brains on the platform and it's a great way to network and get immersed into a digital space if you're interested or trying to nerd out.

LinkedIn: A little ashamed to put this in the Big Boys category but by member count and "impact," it probably deserves to be here. I openly criticize LinkedIn on my Youtube channel, not for what it originally set out to do (getting people jobs is an awesome thing), but what it has become. Flexing your social life or how great your body is is nothing compared to the cringe that comes with talking about your job as if it's the greatest accomplishment in your life and tagging everyone and their mother for all their "contributions" to your success. Being proud of your accomplishments is one thing, being obnoxious about "ways to success" is another. I really hope LinkedIn cleans their platform up and becomes more efficient with getting people jobs.

Not Big Boys - didn't get too creative here but here's a list of "honorable mentions" that are on my radar and aren't MySpace (kind of relevant that people somewhat invested in social media know about).

VSCO: I'm not sure how to properly pronounce this one but it's for the artsy or people that think they're artsy when they post a filtered picture of their bookshelf. It's usually used by college girls on their Instagram bio to show off their artsyness or their adventure filled life without having to caption or enable people to comment / like. It functions almost as a virtual gallery (similar to what Tumblr was?) accompanied by a slightly more aesthetic feel (which 90% comes from the name sounding so hip). Never had it, probably never will.

Pinterest: I have no idea what this is for but I know it's very highly sought out for by the SWE community as a company that does wonders. It's an online scrapbook of some kind that girls put wedding dresses on - which actually is a decent market to be in and I'm sure they do fine.

Clubhouse: Peaked during peak COVID in February when everyone was lonely and meeting random people online with a slightly "professional feel" felt cool. Everyone's bio said that they were founder of some company with experience being a PM at a FAANG but also a rapper on SoundCloud (perhaps this is a population bias due to everyone at the time on the platform being early adopters - still hard to believe we have that many CEO's in the world). I was obsessed with this app and spent 50 hours on week on it. Originally was under the impression that this was the next big thing but five days into it realized the amount of user-effort that was needed to keep it going (which is never a good sign, social media should be easy). At the time it had a crazy ~$10 billion valuation but last I heard it fell off and doesn't really have a roadmap. It's also very hard to monetize something that can't have an ad break.

Youtube: This is probably a big boy but it's down here because it's not exactly social media. They've definitely made efforts to turn it into social media and are playing catchup with TikTok through shorts, but managing or engaging in a community on Youtube is extremely hard. Aside from creators there's not much verification to each account and direct messaging is no longer a thing. Definitely is in the "streaming" area of things and more for content creation and absorption more than anything, but I do think it allows you to "meet" creators and learn about lives, which constitutes social media for me.

TikTok: Also should be a big boy considering size and impact but I'm just personally not a fan so putting it down here. Had it for 3 days and realized I was too old for it - 90% of the content on their is cringe or by the captain obviouses of the world. I'm still not sure (unless you have an insane talent, incredibly funny, or extremely good looking) why most of the things that go viral on it go viral. It's definitely here to stay, not entirely sure if their video resume efforts will pan out. I don't envision myself ever downloading it again and probably won't let my kids have it.

Let me know if I missed any significant ones. Like and subscribe.

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