So who’s winning?

social-networks-V2
Posted under: Digital Natives 10th of April, 2013

The social media war had ended. The battles were fought, all sides bravely outlined their strengths to potential users, but in the end there could only be one winner.

Except, well, not really.

“Who?!” begs morning TV anchors to their technological specialists, “Who is the best?!”

Those poor, ignorant souls. Always craving a clearly defined black-or-white answer, they simply can’t seem to understand that this was a war with no victor.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, Skype, Omegle and Chatroulette (arguably) were all contenders in the contest for supremacy, but none prevailed. You can argue any form as the best, but like any contest, this one is inherently subjective.

Assuming that there can only be ‘one winner’ assumes that all participants are enrolled in the same category – which they aren’t. Each connects their consumers to each other through various means, whether it be by following them because they have similar interests, or obligatorily adding them as a friend since you ‘reconnected’ at your high school reunion, or never speaking to them again after five minutes of chatting anonymously. Each serves a purpose that none of the others can quite replicate.

The distinction between the way these applications are employed is perhaps one of the definitive qualities of the internet itself. No one company will ever reign supreme over the rest, lauding their superior resources and fans over the rest. It’s impossible to have a monopoly, most especially over the internet, and this ‘war’ only emphasises that fact.

I, like many others, use a mixture. Facebook is for connecting to those who I must communicate with due to our shared workplaces/education facilities; Twitter is for following celebrities who deign to give us an insight into their glitzy lives; Instagram is for following hot people; Pinterest is probably something hipsters use, I’m not too sure; Google Plus is for Google fanboys; Tumblr is for self-proclaimed social outcasts who are quirky and different and write poetry and nobody understands them; Meeting people through Skype is just plain weird; Omegle and Chatroulette are for when you need to talk to someone you’ve never met before and maybe convince them that yes we ride emus to school in Australia.

You could almost attribute to our mixed use of social media to our mixed emotions and how humans can simultaneously feel pretty disparate emotions. The day we only use one social media outlet is the day we only feel one emotion – and I hope I’m correct in saying that I hope that day never comes.

What’s your take?

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