By Martha Escobar.
Social media has become highly addictive among students. In a recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 86 percent of college students used a social networking site, mainly Facebook, compared to 60 percent of the general population.
For many, Facebook has evolved from a social tool to an obsession. “I spend all my spare time on Facebook,” confessed CCNY senior, Rose Fernandez.“I even waste more than just spare time on there. Itʼs kind of disturbing.”
Google, which rules the search engine world, is trying to cut into Facebookʼs dominance. On June 28, Google launched Google+. The company said it aims to change the social media landscape by making “sharing on the web more like sharing in real life.”
Google seems like the ideal candidate to engineer the next big thing in social networking. The company has created programs and integrated features such as Gmail, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google Docs and Google Reader and seems to be at the technological forefront with its many ideas. This time with Google+, Google wanted to take an idea that was already out there and make it better.
Brisselli Rojas, a 23 year-old CCNY alumnus, says she wouldnʼt even give Google+ a chance. “The market is over-saturated,” says Rojas. “There are way too many social networks to keep up with. Iʼm already on Facebook and Twitter. I donʼt need an additional social network to socialize with basically the same people.”
Jimmy Vega, a 28 year-old junior at CCNY, disagrees. “I like Google+ because it combines the best elements of Facebook and Twitter,” he says, adding that he only uses it one hour per week. “Iʼve linked my Facebook page with my Google+ page so I can post simultaneously,” says Vega.“But if I had to choose, Iʼd go with Google+ because itʼs more of a geek niche sort of place.”
Some of the best Google+ features: You can create different social circles. For example, you can have all your friends in one circle, all your relatives in another circle and all your coworkers in yet another circle. This makes it easy to manage who sees what on your profile.
On Google+ there is a feature called “Hangouts.” This is multi-person video-chatting. If you see a circle of friends on a web chat you can simply add yourself to the conversation and have multiple people video-chatting at one time.You can also “Huddle,” another name for group texting. This makes it easy to text many people at the same time right from your phone instead of going through the chaos of texting many individuals.
Despite these and other features, not everyone is impressed. Insists Rojas: “I think people are still way too reliant and dependent on this social network.”
Will you make the switch from Facebook to Google+? Let us know by commenting on this story.