Halloween plus social media equals a match made in heaven.
There are great apps and social-media platforms for sharing Halloween with friends. Pinterest and other apps have a lot to offer if you’re looking for pumpkin-carving tricks or recipes or cool treats for your spooktacular party.
Before social media, we relied on magazines, television and our own social groups (you know, friends and family) when we needed to find Halloween tips. We didn’t have the resources to share holiday fun with people hundreds of miles away. Now, it’s as easy as the tap of a finger to show everyone how you celebrate Halloween.
Here are my top-five picks for ways to engage other ghouls and goblins through social media:
Pinterest. I am constantly amazed by the freaky food, decorations and costumes people come up with. And the best collection of these ideas is on Pinterest. Log in, do a quick search of “Halloween,” and you’ll find Frankenstein heads made from pudding and Oreo cookies, and creepy stuff to do with food safety gloves and toilet seats (and sometimes a combination of the two).
Snapchat. Sign up for this image-based messaging system now so you’ll have all your friends following you before Halloween. While you’re out on the town (either with kids or alone), send photos and short videos for your followers to see in an instant, but that only stick around for a few seconds.
YouTube. A quick search reveals channels with spooky themed clips from your favorite television shows and movies, and an assortment of YouTube wannabe celebrities, all of which are designed to create a sense of holiday for subscribers. For example, check out my latest YouTube creation, the “Wind-up Walking Dead.” I made it with an iPad and iMovie. My daughters helped. It was a great bonding experience, and we’re able to share it with the world.
Walking Apps. OK, so it’s not the main reason someone might use these exercise apps. But isn’t that exactly what trick-or-treating is: exercise? For example, try the MapMyWalk app. You can save routes of the best neighborhoods, and share those routes with friends. Next year you’ll know where you’re going, and your friends can follow along.
Facebook. The old standby is best for sharing photos, videos and other Halloween mischief. Let’s face it, your grandma isn’t on Twitter, and has no clue what a Snapchat is. But like the rest of the world, she’s on Facebook. This is home base for most social- media users and it’s the go-to for creating and sharing your Halloween memoir.
As we grow up, Halloween takes on less meaning. As children, we like to dress up and trick-or-treat. As kids, it’s a night for mischief. As college students and young adults, it becomes a night for parties. Perhaps the greatest legacy of social media is being able to look back, years later, when your main job is turning on a light and handing out treats, to remember the fun you had.
~ A version of this post appeared in the Sunday, October 26, 2014 issue of The Vindicator.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is associate professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about social media and technology, sports and fans.