The Oracle

Social networks battle it out for the gold medal

The Oracle

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Graphic by: Lisa Wu


By: Mitch Donat

Twitter: I recently signed up for Twitter because of its new  popularity outbreak, and I realized it is the simplest, quickest and most entertaining social network to use. This is because it corrects the flaws of its main competitor, Facebook. Additionally in the case of other networks such as Tumblr, Instagram and the now archaic MySpace, each service’s popularity is so far behind Facebook’s and Twitter’s that they fail to fulfill the main purpose of social networking: to interact with large numbers of friends at once. As a social network, Twitter has thrived where others have failed.

As soon as I got used to Twitter, I realized that it is by far the simplest network to use. A limitation on the message length and four simple departments make communication and navigation efficient. On Facebook, the general layout is changing on a cycle similar the moon; as soon as I become accustomed to the new layout, Facebook announces another layout the next day. Twitter’s simplicity has remained unchanged since its start. Not to mention, I can use hashtags without looking completely out of place.

Many argue that Twitter is pointless and boring. However, it’s actually an entertaining place to rant, find hilarious pages, and stay connected to famous celebrities and athletes. It’s because of this that Twitter is a truly entertaining website. Ask yourself, have you ever had fun on Facebook besides playing Tetris Battle or bombarding someone with 200 notifications? By being simple and entertaining, Twitter runs away with the social network crown.
The chirping bird rebellion has quickly overthrown Mark Zuckerberg’s international dictatorship. Stop being stubborn and sign up today; you will get used to Twitter quickly and even enjoy yourself. Unlike MySpace, Tumblr, and Instagram, the number of your friends using it will outnumber the fingers on your hand. #PeaceOut


By: Monica Cai

I first joined Tumblr when it was still relatively unknown, although its lack of popularity actually comforted me. Too protective of my thoughts, ideas and most importantly, feelings, I told almost no one about my blog, hoping to keep its anonymity.

Too afraid to write about anything real, the first few hundred of my posts were all reblogs, which is the great beauty of Tumblr. Reblogging is essentially seeing someone else’s post, liking it and reposting it, sort of like retweeting. Many scoff at the idea, claiming it’s simply taking other’s pictures and words and trying to make them their own, but there is a lot more behind reblogging. It’s letting whoever posted it know that you feel the exact same way, or that you love that shot of Paris nightlife too, or that a photo of a clear blue lake in a summery haze with a generic quote like “Here’s to the past” speaks to you as well. Unlike other social networking sites, Tumblr isn’t about chatting with friends or notifying the world of what you’re doing. It’s about your thoughts, beliefs and emotions, and using them to connect with people in the simplest way possible. You don’t have to know anyone you follow on Tumblr; you just have to appreciate what they post.

While Tumblr is about sharing and expressing with others, it’s also a very personal site. I finally allowed myself to write about things pertinent to my life, although often just a few words or sentences on my feelings is enough for me. I also have a collection of private posts, which are pages upon pages of inner ramblings that help me let go of whatever is on my mind. Later, when I feel like reminiscing, I can simply scroll through my post history, essentially viewing a timeline of my life. Facebook may have my most important events from 2011 and the pictures to prove it, but Tumblr has the songs I was obsessed with, the pictures and quotes I fell in love with and, of course, any sort of strong emotion I may have felt. Tumblr goes beyond status updates and pictures with friends—it commemorates the simple moments and joys of everyday life, and delves into all that goes on beyond what most people can see.


By: Boot Bullwinkle

Instagram: It could be said that I am a little obsessed with social networking. I like finding interesting, provocative and humorous content that my friends post, and I love it when I can share the entertaining things in my life with my friends. But sometimes, the oversharing can get obnoxious and the good bits of social networking are obscured bad memes, “like my status” posts and inside jokes.

Instagram is a photo sharing network  used between friends, celebrities, professional photographers and amateur photographers, and it is the best social network—for now.

Being the Mac Miller fanboy that I am, I initially joined Instagram to follow his posts (he’s also the reason why I joined Twitter #CelebrityWhipped). I grew bored with the occasional photos posted by my man crush, and I wondered if anyone else used Instagram. I was pleasantly surprised when I found about 10 friends who actively used Instagram. And they were real friends who I talk to in the real world (I know, right? 10 friends? I was even surprised).
The way people share on Instagram is different than the way people interact on Twitter and Tumblr. There isn’t the constant begging for followers, and there isn’t the drive to rack up “likes” by over sharing. Particularly, I loved being able to see what my family members were up to. Without all the distractions, I can see where my dad is traveling, the smile on my baby cousin’s face or my mom’s pictures of my dog when I’m away.
I will admit that there are a few flaws in the network. Celebrities clog up the “Popular” page now that many have garnered  loyal followings. In the past, the page used to constantly push artistic, hilarious and exquisite photos from ordinary people all over the world.

I guess that’s the hipster inside me. I hope that the network stays small, because the Twitter oversharers and follower-hungry Tumblrs are starting to grow rampant. They are the ones that ruin Instagram for me. In any case, I’m sure that the network will be successful with their unique format for sharing photos.

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Social networks battle it out for the gold medal