For some reason or another I have always followed some crazy, unspoken, made-up rules when it comes to social media. I didn’t create a Facebook account until I got into high school, I don’t post more than one picture on Instagram per day (this might be more due to my uninteresting day-to-day life), I don’t post Snapchat stories longer than 100 seconds, I waited six months after I began browsing, to make an account on Reddit, the list goes on. I have been so worried about doing things right on social media and not going against the grain. Yet frankly, there is no right or wrong way to do social media. Social media is your outlet to be you.
Realizing these rules are completely ridiculous, I have completely immersed myself in social media. Now entering sophomore year at Boston College, it has been increasingly more difficult to keep up with the relationships I formed in high school. Facebook has filled this void, updating me on the major events, pictures, and often “interesting” political opinions my former classmates have. In the past year, I have found myself relying on Snapchat more and more. With seemingly every celebrity on the app, Snapchat provides me with a human side of the Travis Scotts and the Drakes of the world, and makes Lebron James, appear real. This past NBA playoffs, Cleveland Cavalier, Richard Jefferson posted a litany of snaps all the way to the championship parade, allowing viewers to get a glimpse as to what it’s like to be a professional athlete. Snapchat has gone from simply sending your friends pictures, to allowing unprecedented access to almost any major event in the world. Where else would you have been able to see a group of 6+ feet , 200+ lb NBA players singing their hearts out at a dinner party?
Keeping up with friends and celebrities comes with a cost though. Often times I have found myself perusing through my Instagram feed on a weekend, double tapping pictures of my friends in front of the American flag, watching videos of the latest concert at the House of Blues, all while I sit on my couch with 10 Reddit tabs open. This is when my FOMO kicks in or “Fear of Missing Out.” I know that for people like me, social media has my mind in a constant state of self doubt. Should I have gone out? Wow that looks really fun, why wasn’t I there? Am I wasting my college experience? You tell yourself that social media is just the highlights but you’re always worried that your greatest hits compilation is just not enough. This feeling extends past Instagram and the Friday night Snapchat stories. I simply loathe the “show more tweets” sign when I open up Twitter as I force myself to scroll down and read every single tweet, in fear of missing something noteworthy.
I know this feeling of FOMO is not going anywhere anytime soon. Social media is becoming more and more ubiquitous. If I was not sure about that before, I definitely realized it, when this past summer my mom asked me to make her a Snapchat for her nursing agency. When I asked her why her business needed a Snapchat, she gave me a response along the lines of “all the cool kids are doing it.” My mother’s business is the certainly not the first to tackle the beast of social media and is definitely not going to be the last.
Albeit not a small business, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is only the third largest sports league in the nation in terms of revenue, generating nearly $9 billion less than the National Football League (NFL). Yet, the NBA has been able to add “240” million new fans thanks to its understanding of social media. This expansion into the digital frontier has led to NBA franchises’ values skyrocketing, with the Los Angeles Clippers recently being sold for $2 billion, rivaling NFL team prices.
Whether I find myself working for a bank or launching a clothing line in five years, it’s clear that leveraging social media and understanding the new era of business is a very powerful skill to have in your arsenal. We’ve seen infallible, industry giants wiped from the marketplace from poor adaption. We’ve seen artists, singers, businesses, and inventions jumps-started due to smart marketing and efficient workplace practices. Exactly one year ago, I found myself sitting in Fulton Hall, listening to Professor Gallaugher lecture us on how Zara and Netflix are taking over their industries by doing the latter. This semester, I look forward to learning from Professor Kane on how I can can cultivate my skills to do the same.