If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that I spend too much time on social media or that I post too much, I’d probably have, well, about 10 dollars. Which, equals up to… a lot of times. I’m constantly nagged about this by people who are anti-social media, even though they’re the ones watching every single thing I post in the first place. Whenever I hear those assumptions, I never have just one simple response, because I love social media for so many reasons. Here are my why’s.
Before I go in on this article, I need to address the fact that no, my phone and/or computer haven’t taken over my life. When I’m out with friends, family or my boyfriend, I actually spend the time with them. I try my best to keep my phone in my bag at all times and only take it out in when I absolutely have to because genuine relationships and real conversations are so important and valuable in our lives, it’d be a shame if we threw that away because of one little hypnotizing screen in our hands. Unfortunately, about a year or two ago, I didn’t quite understand that. I was on my phone constantly swiping through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. I finally realized I was addicted when I didn’t post anything on Snapchat for two days straight and got a ton of messages from concerned friends asking if I’m okay or if something happened because „I didn’t post anything and that’s not like me”. I didn’t even think twice – I decided it’s time for a break, so I deleted Snapchat entirely off of my phone and didn’t redownload it for the next few months. During this time, I learned to stay off my phone and appreciate the real world surrounding me. Now, I can proudly say I use social media not as an addiction, but as a release.
I don’t love social media for what it used to be, but for what it’s become. A few years ago, social media was much more limited to creating personal profiles on platforms, take for example Facebook or my first experience – Myspace. I used it mainly to broadcast myself and to see what my friend’s were uploading from their daily lives. Since that time, these platforms have developed immensely, just look how you can grow a business thanks to its reach and engagement of users online (but more about that later).
- The number one reason I love social media is because of CONNECTION.
There’s over 2.46 BILLION people actively using social media platforms on a daily basis, meaning, you’re currently connected to that huge group right at your fingertips. While it has it’s ups and downs (I’m talking to you, internet trolls), we have so much power in creating our world a better place, together. We can inspire a different individual on the other side of the planet by our posts, we can come together to spread love and greatness and all we need is well, internet connection. It brings me so much joy when I see someone sharing something of their lives on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll never understand why people get upset by this. No, we don’t enjoy our meal any less than you do just because we took a photo of it.
Another great thing is, my relationships are no longer limited by geography. Thanks to social media, I’ve kept in touch with so many friends all around the world and I can call or message them at any time to talk to them, it’s absolutely genious. (Heck, thanks to social media, I got to attend the Oscars with a complete stranger I met online! I know that sounds reckless and terrifying but I promise you it’s not, you can read more about that adventure here).
- Knowledge. I think this one is pretty clear. You can find any information you need in seconds, where without search engines like Google, it’d take so much longer than it has to. (Who else remembers those A-Z encyklopedias in school that would take forever to flip through? Ok, just me? I feel old.)
And there is always something to learn. You’re connected to all of these amazing people who are constantly sharing their personal content – if you’re interested in any specific topic, for example photography or fitness, you can target these specific groups and stay inspired off their posts.
If that’s not enough already, you’re also constantly up to date on any given industry you’d like to stay focused on. Staying in the loop with constantly changing trends would be impossible without the outreach the Internet provides.
- You can share your own opinions!
I used to be so scared of doing this. I would hear things like “don’t interfere where you don’t have to” or “it’s better to stay out of it” and yes, even though there are certain situations where I do agree with that, in the majority I believe you SHOULD interfere, and SHOULDN’T stay out of it. We’re living in a time where we should all be speaking up and being heard, comparing our thoughts and trying our best to influence others in order to make our planet a place we can all be proud of. Take advantage of the freedom you have to explicit your thoughts publicly, but make sure you aren’t insulting or hurting anyone in the process.
You can’t beat social media when it comes to entertainment. It’s constantly changing, providing new content on a daily basis and never fails to catch all of our attention.
- Growing your business online.
Today, over 50% of clients decisions towards purchases through companies come from social media. No wonder it’s becoming a huge market and more often are people focused on starting a career in this field. Take me for example. When someone asks me where I want to work in the future, I simply respond: in social media. This usually sparks a laugh or two, but logistically speaking, it’s one of the fastest developing industries, as are all media/tech related fields. All companies have social media teams constantly working hard on campaigns and enhancing engagement, which in effect, makes the firms more successful. You can even start your own business and with only the help of the world wide web gather real clients and get rewarding results.
I’ll stop there for now. There are no limits when it comes to social media and there are millions of reasons why one can fall in love with it. Before you tell someone they’re wrong or childish for being “obsessed” with it, think of the fact it could actually be something they’re truly passionate about.
Social media is constantly hated on for “ruining us” and “destroying our perception of the real world”, but honestly, when used correctly – it’s one of the most authentic things we have. It is without a doubt the most defining feature of our generation and we should all learn to use it for the better good.