What are the least problematic social media sites?

Two writers discuss their favourite sites.

Lyndsey Sleator
18th May 2022
Image from Unsplash @dole777

BeReal

In a world where we only see the perfect “airbrushed” versions of life, Be Real is the private story of social media.  

An app which I have been totally obsessed with in the past month is BeReal, a new “social media” which gives you a notification at a random time of the day to take a picture of what you are doing exactly at that moment. 

Embracing the art of living in the present, I love seeing the reality of what people are actually doing. Whether you're watching Netflix in bed, working in the Robbo (there is a lot of that at the minute!), or at work, this app portrays what real-life entails: no-makeup days or typically “picture-perfect” moments like those shared on other social media such as Instagram. 

Days in bed or days not doing anything at all should be normalised by social media, and no app does this as well as BeReal. 

With exam season fully underway, it is embarrassing to admit that my friends and I look forward to when the notification will pop up, with this spontaneity and unknown aspect of the app making it the most fun social media at the minute. You can react to your friend’s upload (which always makes me laugh seeing my friend’s faces in a little bubble), and it is so chilled out that it's hard to even call it a social media! 

It is nothing complex, but the idea of BeReal has truly changed how social media is used, with reality slowly overtaking the toxic pressure to live a perfect life. Days in bed or days not doing anything at all should be normalised by social media, and no app does this as well as BeReal. 

By Lyndsey Sleator


Reddit

“Reddit? Unproblematic? Really?”

Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but the keyword I’m honing in on here is “least”. Reddit is undoubtedly a cesspool of scum and villainy but, unlike other social media sites, these cesspools are a lot easier to avoid.

If you’re not familiar with the Reddit set-up, let me explain. It’s a lot like a large forum with many sub-forums (subreddits), which can range from a topic as large as “football” to something as niche as “Star Wars book”. These subreddit communities can make catering to a social media experience a real breeze because of their isolation from each other and the abilities of individual moderators. While larger subreddits can breed the epitome of toxic fandom, smaller and well-moderated communities are great for supporting your interests and having casual conversations with those that share them.

Smaller and well-moderated communities are great for supporting your interests and having casual conversations with those that share them.

It may take a while to sort through which subreddits are worth your time, but the end result of your personal curation is really quite a pleasure – in a lot of ways Reddit is about as problematic as you dictate it. This control over what sort of content appears on your feed is breath of fresh air compared to the likes of Twitter, where you really don’t have that much say on what appears; everything is out in the open, a bludgeoning social media skirmish waiting to happen.

You can’t make social media completely unproblematic without removing the human interaction part of it. Instead, Reddit signposts the pitfalls; where you choose to go is up to you.

By Peter Lennon

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