Social media has become the world’s yearbook.
I’ve lost my own high school yearbooks after a few cross-country moves, but if I had them, chances are there would be references to Chumbawamba, “Good Will Hunting,” “Titanic,” and plenty of other late-90s nostalgia items.
I’m not terribly bummed that I can’t travel down that memory lane. Future generations won’t have that luxury. Their awful tastes and the stories that shape our world will live in perpetuity on sites like Instagram
has compiled the most influential stories of the year from both of those sites.
On Instagram, the biggest news stories of the year included President Obama’s swearing in for a second term, the old Pope’s resignation and the new Pope’s announcement, the Boston Marathon bombing, and New York’s “hottest food trend,” the cronut.
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Reddit, meanwhile, saw huge interaction with AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with Microsoft founder Bill Gates
and astronaut Chris Hadfield. The site also rallied around the death of one of its early pioneers, Aaron Swartz
. The site came under fire as Redditors sifted through photos of the Boston Marathon bombing and created a postmodern witch-hunt
for the culprits, falsely implicating several innocent people in the process.
The two lists converge in a few ways, but they point to only a handful of the same events, such as the Boston Marathon bombing. It just proves that social media and the Web at large aren’t monolithic by any standard. Frequent visitors to Reddit clearly have different ideas of major news than Instagram users.