I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wow, Meg, another social media rant? Really?”
And the answer is yes, really.
As a marketing consultant, I really can’t hate social media. I’m engrossed in it 24/7. I mean, I get paid to be engrossed in it. Day in and day out, I’m surrounded by tweets and Facebook posts and LinkedIn invitations. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job. But my feelings on social media (as you know) are so mixed that I’m just not sure where I stand anymore.
There are phenomenal benefits to social media. For example, it’s crucial to market your business online in today’s society (there’s a post on this coming, in case you want more info). Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – these are the forces that make the online marketing world spin. Another amazing benefit of social media is networking, be it professional or personal. With today’s technology, we can make and maintain friendships overseas, we can connect with our favorite authors and movie stars, we can follow businesses on LinkedIn and get job alerts in seconds. Social media has provided us with the opportunity to do what we love and preach it to the masses by way of a blog, an Etsy shop or a YouTube channel. In addition to all of that, social media has opened up the doors of social activism and conversation more than any (I hate to say it, but it’s true) print source or radio show could.
Yes, social media has opened up gateways we never knew we could explore. But, in doing so, it has opened up the doors to cyber bullying, stalking and all that nasty stuff. It has also consumed us in ways that we might not have expected or even notice. I wrote a post about that a year ago, but I think the points still ring true. Because we are so completely dependent on social media now, it can be hard to shake that screen vision. I’ll see people walking down the street, staring at their phones and not taking in the world that’s swirling around them. Likewise, I went out to eat a few weeks ago and couldn’t help but notice – and pity – the number of couples sitting across from each other at this restaurant, both so enthralled by the screens in front of them that they weren’t appreciating each other’s company or the amazing meals being set in front of them. Is that round of Trivia Crack really so important that you can’t sit through a single course meal without playing it? You could’ve just stayed home and saved yourselves fifty bucks.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in my posts before, but social media has been known to wreak havoc on relationships – romantic or platonic. Jealousy and trust issues are completely different topics in themselves, but often spawn from social media-related activity. When your significant other’s phone bleeps a thousand times per day, you probably wonder who they’re talking to so constantly. When they have Facebook and Twitter and e-mail and (insert any other social media platform here), it makes trusting them more difficult than it did back in the day. Remember when the only social media account you had was an AIM messenger screen name? *Sigh* Those were the days. Obviously, trusting your SO is something you need to work out for yourself. You probably have accounts on all of the same platforms, so just put it into perspective before assuming that he/she is cheating on you through a million different apps.
So, there you have it. My thoughts on the good, bad & jealous re: social media. When used correctly, social media can leave you with a wealth of friendly connections, a glowing online resume and an infinite outlet for creativity. On the flip side, though, it could kill your reputation and your relationships. My preachy advice for this post? Think before you share, peeps.