There is a range of accessible hardware which can be used for Social Media interaction; these are a few of the main hardware which are used regularly:
- Tablet computer: This is a wireless computer which has a touch screen interface, although it is a computer, it is usually smaller than a computer; however it is larger than a smartphone. There are many different advantages of using a tablet computer, one of these being that it has a flexible screen, meaning that depending on what activity is being done on the screen, it can be shown in landscape of portrait. Another advantage is that it is light weight, this would mean that if someone were to want to take it somewhere with them, they would be able to do so and not cause an inconvenience to their day. Due to it being small in weight, it also makes the tablet extremely portable. Using a tablet also makes surfing the web easier than it would be on a smartphone; this is because when social media websites are created they are originally designed to suit laptops and tablets. Despite there being a range of advantages, there are also some disadvantages, one of these being that when using social media, a lot of typing is usually involved, however typing on a tablet screen is seen as more difficult as traditional keyboards are easier to use. Another disadvantage is that the tablet will need to be connected to Wi-Fi if any online media wants to be used; this could cause a problem if someone is away from a Wi-Fi area for a long period of time yet still wants to use social media.
- Smart phone: This is a mobile phone which performs the same actions as a computer would do. Except it would do so on a smaller screen which is easily carried around. Unlike a computer you wouldn’t need to be plugged into anything for the phone to work, this means that social media can be used whilst walking etc. Also different from a tablet computer which usually needs internet connection for the social media to be accessed, smart phones will have 3G or 4G which will allow the user to access social media no matter where they are positioned. However a disadvantage of a smart phone would be that not as much information can be viewed on the screen at one time, therefore the user may have to scroll quite a lot in order to view what they want to see. However, using social media on a smart phone is considerably easy as people are now able to download apps for the site, which means the user wouldn’t have to spend time searching for the site, as it is already programmed onto their phone and logged in automatically to their account. This could also be seen as a safety problem, this is because if someone were to steal the smart phone, they would be able to access all of the private accounts which are connected to the smart phone.
- Computer: A computer has a monitor which is connected to it, this means that it is a larger device and is usually kept in one place. When using a computer, the user will need to ensure that internet connection is available to use. Unlike smart phones, computers are less likely to be stolen, therefore the information stored on the hardware is less likely to become leaked, and this is due to the size of a computer. However because the screen is larger, it makes viewing a large quantity of information easier to do.
- Laptop: This is similar to a computer expect the monitor and computer are combined to make something which is easy to get around, however it isn’t the lightest hardware therefore could be seen as an inconvenience. Internet connection is also needed for a laptop, which differs from a smart phone as smart phones use 3G or 4G more often. However because the screen is larger, it makes viewing a large quantity of information easier to do. Although, whenever the user wants to access a social media page, they will need to search for it, which could be a disadvantage as it is time consuming.