Social media has become a staple in our day to day lives. We use Facebook to check our family and friends’ latest status updates, we go on LinkedIn to network for our careers, and we post photos on our Instagram accounts to share the highlights of our lives. Which platforms do you use, and what role do they play in your professional and personal life?
Many of us log into our favorite social media platform daily—sometimes it’s the first thing we do once we wake up. This might even be followed by occasional “check-ins” during the course of the day. In fact, the Pew Research Center reveals that 74 percent of Facebook users visit the site daily, while nearly half do so several times a day. How many times a day do you find yourself on social media? Is there a purpose for it, or are you visiting these sites absentmindedly?
According to the Pew Research Center, we typically use social media for social interactions, including staying in touch with friends and family, reacquainting with those we have lost touch with, and even meeting new friends or potential romantic partners (especially for teenagers and young adults). Social media is a common means of engaging in civic and political activities and discussions, gaining scientific and health information, performing job-related tasks, receiving the latest news stories and more.
While social media has a plethora of uses and has become an important source of connecting with the world at large, people sometimes experience sensory overload from the onslaught of available information at their fingertips.
Some might take a break from social media because they are too busy, uninterested or jaded by the drama or conflict they see. In addition, some of us might have privacy concerns about the way our personal information is collected and used. Have you ever needed to take a break from social media, and the never-ending feeds and updates?
A key way to making the most of social media, and the internet in general, is to be authentic. When creating content for your profile, blog, or website, don’t focus on the reaction you want out of people, such as praise or acceptance. If you share ideas that you believe to be true, and you are honest with yourself, that will drive people to engage with you.
If you post content just for a reaction, or write what you think people want to hear, your content becomes meaningless and empty. So, however you use social media, connect with others by putting your true self forward.
Regardless of how one feels about social media, it has become a pivotal form of communication in the U.S. and across the globe. Increased communication between individuals, groups and countries has its benefits as well as possible disadvantages.
How has social media changed your life? Do you use social media more than you would like? Is there a limit for its use? Join the conversation and share your story!