Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 3, 2012

Social media smackdown

(Andrei Papancea/TKS)

Knox students can often be seen with their noses buried in their smartphones, whether they are walking across the quads or waiting in line for cheese curds at the Gizmo.
With this new technology comes the ability to be plugged in to social media almost constantly, but some mediums rise above the rest.

Many Knox students use Facebook because it is an easy way to stay in touch with everyone from friends and family back home to classmates they may need homework information from, but this could also be its downfall.

“I don’t have any access to social media … it’s more of a personal choice. But I’m still aware of things that have happened on Facebook, and I’m frustrated by the way it has affected incoming classes,” senior Erin Daugherty said. “Facebook is essentially taking away first impressions.”

Twitter, a microblogging site, has gained popularity in recent years. Its users often take advantage of making commentary on their daily lives  with a frequency that would be frowned upon were they updating their Facebook status instead.

“Twitter, for me, is about self-expression,” freshman Jorel Holmes said.

Twitter also allows its users a more widespread selection of people to follow, ranging from famous author quotes to spoofs of celebrities.

“Twitter’s more for sharing opinions with the world,” freshman Tommy Hitz said.  “Facebook is sharing your opinion with your friends. I was influenced by other people to get one.”
Another frequently visited social media site at Knox is Instagram, which has commonly been described as “Twitter for pictures.”  Available only on smartphones, Instagram offers various filters that  allow its users to get artsy with phone pictures.

“Instagram is more positive because it’s just pictures,” Holmes said. “On Twitter, you can voice negative comments.”

Reddit, known as the “front page of the Internet,” has also come into popularity in the last year. This website is a large forum where its users can post prompts for people to answer and respond to, such as “Reddit, what’s the best thing about being single?” or “I got really excited for the season premiere of ‘Dexter’ tonight, so I made cupcakes.” These posts include memes and photos of people’s lives, thus combining aspects of Twitter and Instagram into one social media site.

Google Plus, which advertises itself to “make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life” has not caught on as well as other sites. The majority of Knox students do not have one and even more people had never heard of this site, which has not been on the web for much longer than a year.

Facebook remains the most popular social media site at Knox, winning by a landslide. Facebook encompasses everything the other sites offer: the ability to share photos, share opinions through statuses, communicate with others and deliberate.

Also working to Facebook’s advantage is its sheer social dominance.

“Why do I have a Facebook?” freshman Nils Leitz asked. “Because everyone has a Facebook!”

Kate Mishkin
Kate Mishkin is a senior majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. She started working for TKS as a freshman and subsequently served as managing editor, co-news editor and co-mosaic editor. Kate is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois College Press Association for news and feature stories and one award from the Associated Collegiate Press. She won the Theodore Hazen Kimble Prize in 2015 and 2014 and the Ida M. Tarbell Prize in Investigate Journalism in 2014. She has interned at FILTER Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WGIL radio and the Virginian-Pilot.

Twitter: @KateMishkin
Chelsea Embree, Digital Editor
Chelsea Embree is a senior majoring in creative writing and minoring in art history. She previously served as co-mosaic editor and as an arts and features reporter for TKS. During the summer of 2013, she served as a content intern at The St. Louis Beacon. Chelsea has studied under former Random House copy chief Sean Mills and taught writing as a teaching assistant for First-Year Preceptorial. An avid blogger, she has written extensively about youth in St. Louis and maintains a lively poetry and nonfiction blog on Tumblr. She is also the director of communications for Mortar Board and co-president of Terpsichore Dance Collective.

Tags:  facebook Google plus instagram pintrest reddit social media. twitter twitter

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