Posted by MaryMallard
Social media. It’s quite the hot topic these days. It’s also something I’m very passionate about. Gen Y’ers are thriving on it. Gen X’ers are hopping on the wagon, too, a la your mom on Facebook. It’s also causing some huge debates. Where has the art of conversation gone? Why can’t people just, god forbid, pick up the phone and call someone? What’s with all this texting and Tweeting and FaceBooking? Well, friends, I’m here to – once again – help you understand it all.
I’m not saying I’m a social media expert by any means. I’m just throwing my opinion out there, as usual, and you can do with it what you will.
I feel as though people misunderstand the point of social media. It’s not meant to replace face-to-face communication; although some people may use it that way. I think it’s meant to augment it. There is so much technology available today that allows us to instantly share pieces of our everyday life, for better or for worse. We can snap a picture of our dog on our phone and immediately share it on Facebook and Twitter, and almost as soon after get comments and shares on our content. It’s a very faced paced way of communicating, and many people don’t (or won’t) grasp the scope of how beneficial it can be.
For example, I got my current part-time job because of this blog and my presence on Twitter. I also didn’t have any skeletons in my Google searches, which is a big help. But my boss was able to see my personality through my social profiles before she even met me. The other side of this, though, is that you create a personal brand, whether you like it or not. Putting content out on a social channel may not seem like a big deal, but you have to remember that anyone can find you. This includes potential employers. If you’re in high school, this obviously isn’t’ as important as if you’re a recent grad or even in your mid-20s, but it’s definitely something to consider. How do you want to present yourself to the world? Sure, posting that picture of yourself drunkenly passed out in a trash can at 3am seemed funny at the time, but unless you’re careful (and have your privacy settings in check), that could go everywhere you don’t want it to be.
Connecting with people is another pro for social media. Think about how easily you can find people you went to kindergarten with using a simple search tool on Facebook. You can share personal milestones with friends and family. Let Aunt Susie know you ran the Boston Marathon yesterday and finished…she doesn’t have to know the time. And she just as easily give you kudos back. Of course, nothing beats face to face visits, or even phone calls, but when you’re super busy, like me, its an extremely helpful tool to have around.
Overall, I feel social media is going to become a bigger part of our lives than anyone knows right now. We are such a mobile society that we can’t help but use it – we just need to make sure we keep it in check and don’t let it completely take over our lives.