Vintage Vs. Modern Social Media

a photo showing vintage and social social media

photo credit:

A few days ago, I had to write a letter to my former roommate who is now in the Boot Camp. It never occurred to me that writing a casual letter could so much work, especially given the long disconnect from offline (using a pen and writing pad) to online (social media) communication. We shouldn’t be too quick to equate this online reliance to a downside of social media, but maintaining different social networking platforms can truly weakens interpersonal communication.

Talking about social networking sites, I just found WeChat, a platform I had no prior knowledge about. Similar to Whatsapp on mobile, WeChat provides users with a host of interesting options, ranging from group chat to video calls, and much more. With the ever-growing popularity of these social networking sites, there has been a paradigm shift from what can now be referred to as “vintage media,” to the new media. A look at some of these platforms may help paint a better picture in your mind.

YOUTUBE – A “window to view the world.” The platform is a video sharing website that allows users upload and share videos with others. Long before YouTube, most people learnt about other places and cultures from books, movies, and personal experiences through travels.

FOURSQUARE – A location-based social networking platform. Foursquare, provides users with the opportunity to share location with friends via mobile devices, by way of geo-tags. People using this media can check into places like bars and restaurants, and share their visits.

LINKEDIN – A shift from the traditional business card holders to an online professional profile. LinkedIn is a social networking site mainly used for professional networking. Users can create profiles that showcase their professional skills, and work experiences.

TWITTER – Similar to “post-it” notes, but on a digital level, Twitter allows users to send short messages (140 characters) called tweets to one another. The platform allows for real-time connectivity among users.

SKYPE – The service doesn’t only allow users make both regular and video calls to other users, but also provides an avenue for instant messaging, and file sharing. Through Skype, phone calls may also be placed to recipients on traditional telephone networks.

FACEBOOK – Similar to an address book, Facebook is a social networking site that allows users keep in touch with friends, family, and other acquaintances. It may as well be likened to a social media hub because it provides easy syndication with other social networking platforms.

WORDPRESS – Individuals may not have to share notes again, as this platform provides an avenue for users to share thoughts about a passion, brand or industry. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool, and one of the most popular blogging systems in use on the web.

Image of a floppy and a cassete player lamenting

The list goes on and on; from social Apps for wine, to social platforms for music sharing, like Spotify and Pandora. Judging from the rate at which new social networking site are introduced every day, one can only wonder what the future holds.

What social networking sites have marveled you? Any thoughts on this?


8 thoughts on “Vintage Vs. Modern Social Media

  1. Thanks for linking my post to yours. I love the vintage social networking graphic that you post at the top. Most of them make great sense as for me but I want to know more about Reddit. It looks like a comic strip. Does this mean this social bookmark site provides you content periodically so that you can go back to check it from time to time?

    • Thanks Sheila. I recently got a Reddit account. The way it works is that you post a content that readers actually vote for it to be on the front page (home page) of the platform. The number of likes your post generates determines how high it climbs on the platform. A front page post, attracts more readers to your blog. To answer your question, Yes. Social bookmarks are like an online diary that saves your information in one place, for easy access and sharing.

  2. Actually I am intrigued by what you said about “social networking platforms can totally weaken interpersonal communication”, and I totally feel the same.
    Feel free to call me old school, but I am obsessed with actual letters, face-to-face conversations, hugs, and direct eye contacts. Somehow social media always make me feel distant and close at the same time.
    I am a loyal user to Wechat and Weibo, because they are both really user friendly and allow multimedia contents. As far as I can see, user friendly ones will be my primary options. After all, I still want to share trivial details as I ate an strawberry-cheesecake-flavor ice-cream with my close friends and family.

    • I understand this social media mixed feeling of being close, yet so far away. people now connect online telling all their stories via social media. Although this may be fun and engaging, privacy concerns is still an issue. I also stick to user-friendly media platforms for their simplicity; and just because I don,t want any more stress added to juggling a host of them I’m already on.

  3. Thanks for linking to my blog too! It’s so crazy to think how difficult it can be to sit down and actually handwrite a letter. Not too long ago that was way we communicated. Sometimes I actually prefer to write then type but that’s just me. I’ve never heard of WeChat or Whatsapp. I’ll have to check them out. As quick and easy social media makes communicating and connecting with others, I’d hate to see face to face or talking conversations over the phone dwindle. Nice post!

    • You welcome. I’ve not had to write a letter in a very long time, and it occurred to me that this inter-connectivity via social media has actually created this disconnect. I too value personal (face-to-face) communication because things like emotions and sarcasm may not easily be understandable though social media.

  4. I just completed reading Vintage Vs. Modern Social Media post and I found it so interesting! I love the graphic at the top that compares real life objects to each social media accounts. I have never thought of Facebook or Pinterest as an address book and poster board, but in essence that is exactly what each website is! My newest social media site that I have joined is LinkedIn. I find it so cool that I can connect with fellow employees, interviewers, and peers in the work place so easily. It helps build everyone’s personal networks a lot. Crazy how the internet has recently played such a major role in social media!

    • Thanks Kristen. Indeed social media now more than ever, makes connection between people more evident. I thought the graphic too was good in illustrating how these “modern media” have come to replace the old ones. This is not to say that letters, address books etc. have been completely eroded, but a new paradigm shift from offline to online media has been recorded. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with a professional network. Using this platform to build a profile that speaks for you is a good way to showcase your skills to potential employers.

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