What are the top social media apps, what are your favourites and would they also be the most popular social media apps?

I’m going to be short and sweet about this (or maybe short and sour)! Before I start, let’s be clear, I am no oldster who has no idea about technology; I run laptops on Mac, Windows, AND Linux.  I use an iPhone, an iPad Pro and an iPad Mini. I use apps for banking, travel booking, ebooks, music, storing articles, photography, communicating and blogging.

So let’s categorise social media apps as Good, Bad, and Ugly, and begin with the Good.

The Good Social Media

Instagram is definitely in the Good category. A single focus of photography, a simple clear interface, and inhabited by enthusiasts all over the world. Easy to make friends, some of whom I have met from Spain, USA, and communicate regularly with some UK photographers too.

Twitter is in the Good category too …… provided you use the Lists function to control tweets of a specific category that interest you. I have Lists for Travel, Museums, Brexit in which I put followers/followed so I can control what I want to read about at any time. I do not open the general tweets feed! This is a good app to blend with a blog, easy to publicise your blog posts with a single click and to engage with people writing similar blogs. A simple and easy to use interface connecting with like-minded people.

The Bad Social Media

Now to the Bad category, and in no particular order; Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+.

Tumblr just seems to be a mini version of WordPress once you have mastered the mechanics, but having used it for nearly two years ……. I don’t have a single follower! Don’t laugh, I don’t feel sad or slighted, just baffled. What am I not doing? I have followed others, liked and commented on others posts but to no avail. Is this app just a halfway house between Instagram and WordPress anyway? Delete account!

Pinterest also seems quite close to Instagram, populated by photos but then linking to more information about a topic. It makes for a colourful and pretty site, but what a palaver to find anything! Do I create a collection of my own about a topic or add to others’ collections? How? If I have a photo and an article about a medieval church locally do I put it in a collection for churches, Cotswolds, ……. Or what? Tags is much simpler than this, and after a year of trying ….. Guess what, zero engagement.

Google+ is a complete mystery to me currently though I have been a fan and user of many Google apps since the days of my early Android phones. I appear to have 53 followers from my early days but I can’t find out who they are! Why the hell not; am I missing a function somewhere, am I just thick or have Google now removed this? Circles, Communities, Collections, I’m getting dizzy with it as they all seem to overlap with each other or even duplicate. To be fair, I quite like the interface and its very easy to create ones own collections and posts. I’ve created three, one each for Museums, Art Inspiration, and Architecture, all as part of Travel. I will persevere with it, but would appreciate anybody offering advice, or even finding me and connecting so I can better work out how to use it. I’m in a vacuum at present so please click on the Google+ icon on the blog here to connect. I hope it works!

The Downright Ugly

Finally to the downright ugly, Facebook! I know I know, you all love it and I’m a Philistine of biblical proportions. Two problems, one with the nature and structure of the app, and one with the users who inhabit it. To use an analogy, your local pub might have a nice bar, good beer and food, but if it’s frequented by a pile of lager louts and yobbos you’ll soon stop going in. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Facebook is inhabited by predominantly lager louts, but there was a period last year when it felt like it. In the run up to the referendum on the EU in the UK, I wrote as a qualified psychologist on the cognitive dissonance I felt was affecting everybody. The population of the UK was confused and this was due to prior tribal based political affiliations being disturbed by the political parties and their elected politicians split on whether to Leave or Remain. I was analysing news reports, interviews, articles etc and trying to give an objective viewpoint on how they might affect ones thinking. People were being confused and all I was trying to do was to unpick the baffling assertions coming from both sides. But after a while the abuse began, totally from the Remain side, which reached a stage of my being branded a racist fascist homophobic misogynist! My personal views on whether to Leave or Remain were never stated, just analysis of the two campaigns. But what became clear was that there is a significant proportion of people who do nor want to discuss or engage with people who might question their views. Was that Facebooks fault? No, it wasnt, but the lunatics took over the asylum!

So there you have it, a personal view I’m sure many will disagree with. But from my viewpoint social media’s purpose is to connect like minded people who can then share experiences and learn from each other. I would like to learn how to use Google+ better so if anyone would like to connect and engage please use the icon on our main page.