This weeks assignment for my Technology in Advertising and Public Relations class, we were asked to answer a series of questions regarding our opinion on social media. Before I continue, lets look at some of the statistics, provided by We Are Social, involving the worlds population and how many of us use the Internet/social media as well as how much social media has grown in the last year alone.
Looking at the numbers, I was kind of surprised that the number wasn’t higher, however the numbers are still massive.
Moving forward, I use social media in many different ways. I use social media to obviously keep in touch with friends and family; what they are up to and how their life is going. At the same time I use social media to stay informed with pop culture, world or nation-wide occurrences, to make new connections, and to be entertained. With so many different social media platforms, every website has its own purpose and uniqueness.
I frequently see others using social media for the same reasons. However, every person is different and favors different social media sites. Although I’m not one to post status updates on Facebook, I know many people who do…most of which don’t have a Twitter. I also see others using Facebook to connect with brands for possible job opportunities or simply just for company or store information (such as store hours and location). Everyone using social media different and often have strong opinions on how they feel about their favorites and the ones they hate.
I consider myself to be a social media enthusiast and have never had any majors issues using it. Although some many may argue that social media makes us more antisocial, I prefer to look at the opposite. ProCon.org outlined a list of Pros and Cons when using social media. Some Pros encompass:
- “Law enforcement uses social networking sites to catch and prosecute criminals”
- “Social media sites help employers find employees and job-seekers find work”
- “Corporations and small businesses use social media to benefit themselves and consumers”
- “Colleges and universities use social media to recruit and retain students”
The Cons list comprises of:
- “Social networking sites facilitate cyberbullying”
- “Social networking sites harm employees’ productivity”
- “Social media causes people to spend less time interacting face-to-face”
- “Social media enables the spread of unreliable and false information”
This lists are much longer but show some of the big arguments on how “good” or “bad” social media really is. Social media is a great tool to make connections with others, whether it’s casual on Facebook or professional on LinkedIn. It has also given people the opportunity to learn about events, companies and brands, services, and organizations much quicker and on a more personal level. If social media has any downsides, its the decisions people make when posting something that is highly offensive, inappropriate, or ill-mannered towards others.
In my great 5 or 6 years of social media presences a lot has changed. When I first joined any social media, it was all on a computer. There were no smart phones or apps where social media could be carried in the palm of your hand. Facebook was where you posted your thoughts or comments, not Twitter. Blogs like Tumblr became popular in high school but slowly faded off. Pinterest became a necessity when trying to find anything from haircuts to workouts. Social media is in a constant state of evolution because of new sites or apps arising and the age of the frequent user. While reading this article you may have noticed a graphic on the right side. This was created by Rebecca Graves on her HubSpot Blog. This shows when each popular social media site was created over the past decade. For those of you who like to be on the latest and greatest social media, here’s a little on the two platforms launched in 2014. “Atmospheir (you had to know this was coming) is a social media contact manager that separates your personal from your professional contacts and gives each contact a single ID under which everything is listed. Learnist is somewhat similar to Pinterest (so it seems) but with all types of content: videos, articles, images and webinars” (Graves, 2014).
Graves, R. (2014, August). Social Media Over The Past Decade [Infographic]. Retrieved February from http://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/social-media-over-the-past-decade-infographic
Kemp, S. (2015, January). Digital, Social & Mobile Worldwide in 2015. Retrieved from http://wearesocial.net/blog/2015/01/digital-social-mobile-worldwide-2015/