Get started with social media, but which one?

We have a myriad of choices for social media. Some popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn. If you are relatively new to social media, which ones should you join?

(Update: Google+ shuts down permanently in April, 2019)

My short answer is that it depends on who you want to connect with, and for what purpose.

Right off the bat, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network.  It is good for connecting with (former) co-workers and college buddies.  If you are a retired person, you probably won’t get as much out of it as a working person.

Facebook, once the darling of a young demographic, seems to have steadily fallen out of favor with teenagers. If you are interested in connecting with your teenage grandchildren, Facebook may not be the best tool.  At home, my college-age daughter shuns Facebook, while her mother posts every single day.

So, how do teenagers socialize instead? Instagram and Snapchat. Both apps are used for sharing pictures and videos. The difference is that the Snapchat stuff is supposed to be viewed immediately by the receiver and not saved for later use. Snapchat can also send text messages.

WhatsApp is my favorite app for keeping in touch with designated people groups.  I set up a group comprising of my immediate family, another for my church friends, and another for my Toronto relatives, etc.  You can send text as well as videos and pictures via WhatsApp.

Google+ is Google’s entry in the social media market. I find that it is best used in keeping abreast of your many interests. For instance, if you are into cooking, then join the cooking communities on Google+. There, you can share your favorite recipes, and discover new ones.

Lastly, if you want to follow a celebrity (or you are one yourself), by all means, sign up for Twitter. Since I am neither, I do not use Twitter much.

There are way too many social media apps than one can describe in a single post. Let me know how you use social media. If you use an app that is not mentioned above, please share with us in a comment below.