Social media is prominent in my life and the culture that I live in. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which I think are the three most popular social apps. I walk around Emory and see myself along with other people viewing these apps on either our laptaps or phones in almost any setting: in class, in the library, walking outside, in the lunchroom, or even on the toilet. Truthfully, as almost anyone can imagine, these social apps are a waste of time, and I, myself, feel ashamed sometimes that I am viewing social media on my phone at the lunch table when I could be having a live conversation with the person across the table. In my opinion, they are a waste of time and effort because I use them to view other people’s statuses on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, and pictures on Instagram. These posts come from over a thousand different people, most of whom are insignificant in my life, therefore making most of the posts insignificant. I am viewing meaningless, yet entertaining content when I use these apps. It is also a waste of time and effort to write my own posts on these sites because I am sharing information with a bunch of “friends” and “followers” on a superficial level. The few friends and followers who do matter may not even see my post, and I could have easily just communicate with them directly if I wanted them to know something. I believe these social apps provide an insufficient amount of attention to the people who feel the need to use them. However, these people use social apps more and more in hope to receive the attention they need, neglecting to put themselves out there in the real world and meet some new people. Again, social media relationships are superficial, but when one has a conversation in the real world with another, a genuine, meaningful relationship could develop.
For this reason, I commend Lauren McCarthy for designing Crowdpilot and Inneract, as these social apps promote real life interaction with other people. With Crowdpilot, a user asks anonymous people what he/she should do or talk about in a real life scenario. I imagine that many people use this, but I don’t imagine them relying on the app to control their personality and actions. I think Crowdpilot gives users confidence to do something they simply did not have the guts to do before. With Inneract, users post a status to a correspondent location on a map, hoping for someone else to read it and possibly come interact with them. Now, I don’t see anyone using this at all, as it would be hard to actually find the person who posted the status in a populated area, and I doubt anyone in their right mind would seek out a stranger who is alone in the middle of nowhere. Nonetheless, the goals of these apps are to assist users to interact face to face with other people, so I deem Crowdpilot and Inneract better than the apps I currently use: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.