My History with Social Media:
2006 – First awesome blue flip phone (back in the era T9 word)
2007 – AIM account created and email ( firstname.lastname@example.org- my mother thought I needed a gender neutral account name so I couldn’t get trolled…maybe she had the right idea)
2012- I finally got the luxury of getting Facebook and being connected to all my friends…with a small caveat – I had to friend my mother so she could monitor my account
2013 – #blessed… I finally joined my generation and got an iPhone 4- along with every social media that was available at the time (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
2016 – Snapchat and Groupme made communication even more diverse and added yet another way to communicate with others
2017 – I have officially caught up and have every form of relevant social media wooooo
2018 – Who knows what will be created- maybe a holographic facetime!?
What I have learned from my delay into the social media and digital world is to have no expectations. There can rarely be any predictions with all of the new apps that pop up into existence. Who would have thought that sending ugly pictures of yourself to someone would be so popular – on top of adding crazy graphics and emoji. (Exhibit A & B below) In what way do these pictures actually benefit our society at all? They don’t….they are just funny. But with each update to the app you can see where people are, what they are doing, and what is happening in that part of the world. Instant connection (and weird faces) brings a feeling of camaraderie.
(getting my dad on the snapchat bandwagon)
The one thing I can be sure of is that as millennials, we will adopt and embrace any form of social media. How is it that Facebook has 1.55 Billion ACTIVE users in the world in just one month? Instagram had 400 million, twitter has 320 million. Vine (RIP) had 200 million active users.
The best thing about social media is that is not longer just a tool for young teens to vent about their parents grounding them or showing off how cool they are with pictures from a party. Social media has transformed the way we communicate with relatives aboard, job recruiters, and even finding a soul mate. On one side of the argument we can definitely say that social media has expanded our social reach as well as improved our ease of life. We can now “stay in contact” with friends from all over the world and know what they are up to without having to be there with them. We can apply to jobs online with just a click of a button without having to search too far. We can even go on dates without having to deal with the weird pick-up lines and awkward silences. Even though our lives have completely moved into a completely connected lifestyle with access to anything at any time, there are still some intense draw backs that are not taken into consideration.
I may be able to see what my friends in New York are doing or feel connected to my relatives in California thanks to Facebook and Instagram pictures, but I would never know their hardships if I don’t actually reach out to them and try having a conversation. Social media can really hide what people are truly feeling and doing because there is such an intense pressure to put on an act and act like everything is great in your life. There is a status amongst social media of how cool your pictures are or how fun your weekend was which is rated by how many likes you get.There are people who can hide behind their computers and phone and pretend everything in great in their lives. It is said to see friends who are engulfed in their social media profiles just because they need the validity that someone liked their pictures.
There are those who hide their true selves behind their username and profile pictures, but there are others who are so open and opinionated that they attack others for not having similar views. I do agree that freedom of speech is on play and each person has the right to post what they want but there is so much public shaming and bullying that happens so much more now because people become for confident behind their keyboards. I know we will address cyberbullying in class this semester but I believe that this is one of the worst side effects that comes along with all these different outlets of expression and communication.
I am genuinely excited to learn about social media in our daily lives but also its impact on digital business and company dynamics. I know I do not know nearly as much as I think I do about social media because even after re-downloading the Twitter app there has been so many changes and different uses for it now. I guess these are more my initial beliefs about social media but I hope I learn more great things about it but also wait to combat the harsh realities of it.