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Why smartphones are the rightful kings of social media

Alex Wawro | March 21, 2013
Social networks are leaving the PC behind as they chase the growing mobile market, and that's for the best.

The best tool is the one you have on you

Photographers say the best camera for any given situation is the one you have with you, and the same goes for social media access. No mobile device can match the reliability or utility of a well-maintained PC jacked into a rock-solid broadband connection, but you're going to have a hard time slipping that PC in your back pocket when you're headed out the door.

So while your phone is almost certainly less stable and powerful than your PC, you can rely on having it with you pretty much all the time. Sure, trying to upload your phone camera images to Twitter or sending a message to a friend through the Facebook app can be maddening when your cellular connection sucks, but it's still way more convenient than waiting until you get home to boot up your PC and share your experiences.

Relying on your phone for the lion's share of your social media needs means you never have to worry about schlepping a laptop or a bulky DSLR unless you know you're going to need the extra firepower. Organizing and sharing your photos will always be easier on a desktop PC--with its big, beautiful screen and powerful file management tools--but the hassle of dealing with a smaller screen, a proprietary digital store filled with single-purpose apps, and a subpar camera is worth tolerating when you're out and about. Your phone affords you the freedom to reliably tap into your social networks at any time, pretty much anywhere, from a device with unique features--a GPS receiver and a camera--that make it the ideal social media platform.

Your desktop is meant for so much more

And if you're just uploading photos of what you ate for lunch, you should be doing it from your phone, because your PC is powerful enough to be so much more than a social media management system. Social media mavens and marketing gurus use PCs to tap into Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a half-dozen other social networks via dedicated desktop apps because that's their job: They need to be able to quickly respond to customers and stay on top of the ever-changing tides of public opinion. It sounds exhausting.

But if you don't have to rely on social networks for your livelihood, don't waste your precious  time on the desktop checking Twitter and sharing videos on Facebook. This is what your phone excels at, especially while you're stuck in line at the DMV.

The PC will always be a subpar social media device. It also sucks at taking photos and shooting video, but that doesn't matter because we have specialized tools designed to excel at those tasks. The PC is a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but that certainly makes it more broadly useful than being a master of one. So use your PC to its fullest potential: Start a business. Create a streaming media server for your family. Play a few games. Check Facebook occasionally, but leave the heavy-duty socializing where it belongs: on your phone.


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