By Robert Mapplethorpe
Social media has a big impact on the ways we communicate, work and learn about others and ourselves. It influences how we think, where we go for help from, and how to relate to others. I think we can all agree that social media is making our lives easier and less stressful. At least that’s the impression I get when I look at it.
But what actually does it mean? When you’re reading this blog post and thinking “social media is important, so why do people keep posting negative things on social media? What are some good things social media brings us?” I believe in your heart that there are lots of benefits of social media in today’s society and in my opinion they outweigh some of its negatives such as cyber bullying.
That doesn’t mean that social media has no place within an organization but in fact many businesses are taking advantage of the advantages social media brings them. I’m not trying to advocate social media is bad for your business because in that sense you’d be better off without it. I’m just suggesting that organizations should take advantage of these new technologies and use them to their benefit to achieve positive results. Many organizations outsource some or all administrative tasks like data entry, email, webinar and social media management. But in most cases they don’t know anything about social media. So, they’re going to start by simply looking into the website to find out more about its benefits.
I believe the real power of social media lies in the benefits it gives to an organization as well as how much of a positive impact it creates for individuals. Organizations don’t care if you have 1.25 million followers, 5.5 million friends and 100 million subscribers. They care about your credibility and brand awareness. The more followers you have the higher the level of authority that you’re able to exercise over others. And being reputable helps drive traffic and leads to increased conversion rates with many sites now offering free tools to encourage customers to become loyal clients or even sell their products or services through referral programs.
Social media is definitely an awesome way to interact with other people, especially those who share your interests. However, when you start posting photos and comments that reflect your personal views and opinions it makes your posts seem uncultured and phony. Your efforts may even end up backfiring and alienating many people. For example, one site I was interviewed at, a popular online destination for teachers, gave me a lot of emails asking me to comment on its articles. My email address was shown as invalid, spammy and fake because a number of the comments were sent to thousands of people instead of an authentic message. Nowadays, I’m certain that social media likes to show the best side of themselves and it’s always great to know you’re an extrovert and want to spend time with people who share your personality. However, what about if someone you disagree with starts posting pictures of you in a manner in which appears to discourage you? You’re not going to like other people saying or doing things because of some silly mistake you made. How about a person who spends hours every day on this network and has millions of followers? As long as they are showing a high standard and are genuinely interested in helping and inspiring others then the whole thing shouldn’t matter. Some types of trolls may seem like the perfect friend or family member but as long as the content is informative, informative and helpful. This includes sharing pictures of your dog too, though I think that is probably beyond the pale.
I’d hope social media would create a positive environment for everyone involved in it so everyone could enjoy using it, the opportunity to make the conversation flow, and to talk with others who share your passions. With its influence on communication technology and information technologies, people need to learn to be vigilant about the types of material posted and the tone of voice they use and the content they use. We need to ask, “What does my profile picture say about me? Does it look right? Will I be seen by as a trustworthy source for information? Do I have enough followers and fans that I won’t be ignored by others? How am I interacting with the content I’ve created?” All of these questions are answered by following the links at the bottom of each page. These are very basic questions which you can answer quite easily if you’re not familiar with social media.
I know this isn’t really advice but my goal here isn’t to suggest that social media should be banned or banned off the Internet. It shouldn’t be banned at all. If anything I don’t want anyone to lose access to social media as a result of its popularity with everyone from the school kids to the CEOs of major companies. Just as there are many different sides to the Internet, there is also an endless supply of content with information on almost anything imaginable. Most people spend most of their entire life on social media, spending hundreds of dollars every year on their favorite networking tool. There’s a reason why Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are among the top four most visited websites, so that social media isn’t going away any time soon.
So, you might wonder how exactly will you use social media? Well, social media plays a bigger role than some people believe. While social media allows you to keep track of your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and loved ones, it also lets you build an online community that makes up people. People join groups like facebook group, twitter group or facebook pages so that they can connect together and discuss issues or suggestions that they feel are important to them and the rest of their peers. There is also the option of creating profiles on social networks, either for the sake of keeping track of yourself and your contacts or for branding purposes.
Social networking is also fun because many people have fun sharing images and videos on social media. Whether this is done for fun and relaxation or work, it’s easy to see why it’s becoming a regular part of everyday life. Through our smartphones and computers, we can tell our friends and relatives about our daily activities and share our accomplishments with an audience we have never known prior to the modern age. In conclusion, I think that social media is here to stay. Use social media to your benefit to achieve positive results. Be open and respectful with people who have differing views or who are expressing your own feelings and ideas. Don’t let the negative affect your reputation and your level of confidence.