Reddit and Facebook are arguably two of the most popular current social media sites. Reddit, a social news platform that allows users to discuss and vote on content that other users have submitted, and Facebook, a website which allows users to connect with friends, work colleagues or people they do not know, online in one place, are typically viewed as rather different social networking sites that serve distinct purposes. Something users may not know is how beneficial both sites can be for perspective and current college students alike, especially here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
There is a clear benefit to using either site during your time here at UMass, such as having a platform to ask questions and stay informed on current events on campus. So, what site is more useful for my needs as a student? UMass Reddit or UMass Facebook Groups? Let’s find out.
UMass Reddit: The Pros and Cons
Pros: You can ask nearly anything that you want. From questions regarding classes, registration, move in, what life is like at the university, and much more, you can genuinely ask just about any question that you may have. The UMass Reddit forum is a great place to get a feel of UMass Amherst before you even step foot on campus. For prospective students, you can even use this forum to ask current students about their experiences at UMass and use the site to help aid in your college admission decision. This forum is even a great place to find students with similar interests as well and potentially make some friends before your arrival on campus. Ultimately, the UMass Reddit forum is a great place to discover all things UMass for prospective and current students alike.
Cons: You might not find the answers you are looking for. Like any subreddit, there is a possibility that you may ask a question and either get a not-so-serious response or no response at all. While the UMass subreddit does have over 6,300 members and is very active, no response is always a possibility. Additionally, since this is a public subreddit — meaning that anyone can view and comment in the forum without being a membe — this means that non UMass students can post in the forum. While this is great since it gives prospective students the opportunity to get a feel for UMass and get involved in the conversation, there is a possibility that non UMass students may be answering some posted questions. Ultimately, with any subreddit, you should be taking the advice that works best for you and your needs and not necessarily living by what people in the forum say.
UMass Facebook Groups: The Pros and Cons
Pros: The UMass Facebook Groups, especially the ones for official classes, such as the class of 2021 for example, are extremely helpful when it comes to keeping up to date with various student needs of your class. Since these Facebook groups are based on the different class years, you will have a great space to not only interact with your fellow classmates but make friends before you even step on campus. Similar to Reddit, these Facebook groups are also a great place to keep up to date with events on campus, sell your old textbooks, learn about various subletting options, ask questions, and much more. Overall, these Facebook groups are a great space to interact with your graduating class, helping make such a large university feel more like home.
Cons: These groups are private and typically only intended for the admitted students of that given class, making it difficult at times to join a group of another class year. To join these closed groups, you also need to include your Spire ID when you submit your request. While this helps solve the issue of preventing outside users from joining these groups that Reddit might lack, you lose the cross-class perspective that you would get on Reddit. Additionally, these pages tend to die out once you advance through the university. While my class’s Facebook group, that of 2021, is not entirely dead, it is nowhere near as active as it was during my freshman year, especially in comparison to our subreddit.
Our various UMass Facebook Groups and UMass Reddit are both great platforms to stay up to date with what is going on here at UMass Amherst. From my experience, I believe that the Facebook groups are best for individual class needs, while our Reddit is best for an overall snapshot of life at the university. While I personally see the value in being actively involved in both platforms, it is ultimately up to your own needs when it comes to what site is more beneficial during your time here at UMass. Regardless, I highly recommend exploring both platforms during your time here, it will help you tremendously!