Dialect Magazine

CYBERCULTURE > New Social Networking

Seven-hundred and fifty million strong, Facebook has been the king of social networking sites since its rise in the late 2000’s. Our generation is thriving on the ability to connect via internet rather than through a personal meet-up. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can update anyone from anywhere and let them know how or what we’re doing with our lives. Being three thousand miles away with no means of connection is a thing of the past with programs like Skype or FaceTime.  Want to go on a date, but need to know if it’s even worth your time? Dating sites like OkCupid and Match are the perfect go-to.

Connecting has never been easier and now that were on the go, technology is constantly adapting. While it’s not that we necessarily lazy, maybe we are just looking for easier ways to cut out the unneeded extra steps in relationships or meetings. Although Facebook has dominated the game since the fall of MySpace, things are slowly changing as our culture demands things faster with fewer complexities.

Sites like Pinterest and The Fancy have come out of the closet to take the internet by storm. While popular now, what is it exactly about these newer social networking sites that is picking up in popularity? A lot of it has to do with simplicity and the ability to connect easier over personal interests more so than reading an about me section on someone’s Facebook.

Pinterest has become a world-wide sensation overnight almost it seems. According to comScore, it was the fastest site in history to break the 10 million visitor mark. Sites like Tumblr and Blogs have been popular for some time now, but Pinterest is all of that simplified.

Pinterest is an online pinboard which allows photo-sharing and people to connect over things they like or find interesting. While it is open to having people share pins on Facebook and Twitter, that isn’t what makes the site most accessible and popular. While before social networking was on the basis of age, sex, location, and other basic knowledge you want to obtain about a person, we have become a generation that thrives on knowing more in less time. We rely so heavily now on sites that allow visual imagery rather than reading profile after profile, which is why Pinterest is thriving and flourishing. Besides, what’s better than connecting over your mutual love for small, fluffy animals or delicious cake recipes?

If you fancy sites like Pinterest, there is a good chance you will soon grow an addiction to The Fancy; a site that is described as a store, blog, and wish list all in one. The Fancy gives you the ability to “fancy” things, the equivalency of “liking” something on Facebook. The Fancy gives you the ability to browse new ideas and products as well as buy them in the marketplace. It’s much easier now to shop with the ability to fancy and come back to it later when you want to purchase. Your friends can view comment on the things you’ve fancied as well. There is nothing better than a site that takes away the chore of finding cool, new products and bringing them to straight to your doorstep.

While we are constantly browsing the internet for new sites to be on to cure boredom and gain a closer connection to the outside world, we are also looking for apps on phones to make our connection easier while on the go. Instagram has boomed into stardom recently with its easy ability to connect people via photographs and filters. Although Instagram has been a popular app for a while now, its recent installation to the Android market has really skyrocketed its appeal to all users. Simple sites such as Instagram make the process of connecting much simpler, but a little less explainable. It’s all aesthetically pleasing, but the context is minimal.

Another app similar on the market for both Android and iOS is Path. Path is a smaller, simpler social networking app which relies on taking away the clutter. No more Farmville invites, no more spam on your wall; you have the ability to control your updates. You can share photos, the music you’re listening to, even tell people when you’re sleeping so they don’t interrupt your beauty rest. Emotion icons even let you know how someone is reacting to your update – such an easier process then explaining to your girlfriend why you didn’t put that heart at the end of your Facebook status today.

Sites like Facebook will be the overseer of the social networking community for a while, but the little guys are slowing closing in on easier ways to connect faster with more intricate details. The new amount of social networking sites incoming is promising to our generation’s future – we have some sort of ability to change and add new social networking sites into the mix. Sharing cute cat pictures won’t be such a hassle now and you can say goodbye to your Dad’s ability to poke you on Facebook; we are on the brink of a new, simpler wave of social networking.

Sarina Bloodgood is a Communications Major at Marymount Manhattan. She's from Brooklyn, NY.

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