To me, social media has always been a form of convenience. And after conferring with my some of my peers here at UNC, it seems this opinion is widespread. It is a convenient way for us to communicate our thoughts, get noticed my employers, stay in touch with family and friends from back home, and keep ourselves up-to-date on the world around us.
Sometimes, however, social media appears more as a burden than as a convenience. Waking up to three snapchats, six e-mails, 2 facebook messages, and a Twitter notification means I have to set my alarm 10 minutes early just so that I can respond and catch up before beginning my day. Trying to do homework, a breaking news story on the CNN app will alert my phone, meaning a break in the paper I am writing and often causing even more time distracted once my attention has been refocused to the phone. The news is a broad range of personal stories to international ones, but it is constant and always easily accessible. These attributes make staying up to data a consistently high-priority item.
What makes it such a burden however is how many places you are seeing the same story, and the need to check them all makes repeating stories a waste of time. It is for this reason that I believe social media, in order to maintain its image as a convenient tool, will eventually have to collapse into one medium. If Instagram photos automatically post to Facebook and Twitter, than why do I need three mediums to view the same photo? This occurred to me only yesterday, as I realized after catching up on all three of these sources, I had viewed some pictures three times.
I think it’s only a matter of time until one medium emerges as the end-all, be-all newsfeed. Look at Twitter’s new interface that looks a lot like Facebook. Check out Vine Messages. It’s the direction we are ultimately headed, and it is a result of the increased burden of what we once thought of as a convenience. Start-ups will contribute features to our ultimate Newsfeed, rather than new apps we need to keep up with. Personally, I can’t wait for the day to come where I wake up only to check one medium of news. Perhaps it will give me more time, or perhaps it will just make it so that I miss out on less and can see more. Either way, I embrace the change completely.