As I start this semester with a class focusing on social media, I’ve started thinking about how much it affects my life. Even though I know I should spend a lot more time studying than on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest (you name it), there are a lot of things I love about these different sites and the way they help me interact with people around me.
I use social media for getting deals from companies and stores I like, sharing pictures of events with people who don’t have cameras, and (most importantly) keeping in contact with friends that I’m not able to see the majority of the year. Currently, my boyfriend and I live three hours apart and things like funny YouTube videos, tweets about exciting events in our lives, and pictures of our friends help us stay close without being able to physically see each other that often.
There are many things I love about social media but there are also things I don’t. For one, I think it provides a false sense of friendship and knowledge about the people around you. You may be “friends” on Facebook with a girl down the hall and able to look at her pictures from over break even though you’ve never talked face to face.
I also think the amount of social media websites that we’re all supposed to be proficient in is overwhelming and becomes a big time suck. Checking Twitter a few times a day is wasting time that could be spent meeting friends for lunch, working out, or learning to play guitar. For those reasons, I’m nervous that real social interaction will take a rough hit from the virtual interaction of social media.
However, the benefits of my favorite sites outweigh the negatives. Just recently on Pinterest, I found a jacket I’d been looking for forever, learned how to paint a print for a sorority craft, and discovered the most delicious snickerdoodle cookie recipe. On Facebook, I found out my boyfriend’s last race time and saw pictures of the meet. On Twitter, I kept up to date with the Golden Globe Awards when my roommate decided that another TV show was more important.
Over time, I’ve used a larger diversity of social media sites, allowing to me to maximize the capabilities of each. In this class I’d really like to learn how to utilize these social media sites to create my own professional brand. Since most of my future employment opportunities will expect me to be an expert in media, I want to learn how to use each to their full potential.