I see a lot of backlash and hatred for social media and current technology. Frankly, I get sick of it. People want to bemoan this society for “always being on their phone” and “social media taking over their lives”, but the advancement of technology, including and especially mobile apps and social networking sites, can increase productivity and bring us closer together. Sure, anything can be misused and abused, but that was true long before Facebook came around.
Here’s why social media is important to me, and how it’s more than just a time-waster.
I revamped all my social media sites recently, and it wasn’t just for fun. Okay, it was partly for fun, but it was also to learn, to be inspired, to be cultured, and to get connected to others in my fields of interest and career industry.
For one, I need to stay in the know, and the newspaper and evening news aren’t the best way to get your news anymore. The internet, especially social media, is an unfiltered way to get all the headlines, and all the information, even from the frontlines, as we’ve seen with Twitter. Secondly, niche interests like the latest tech standards and insider secrets on video and film (something I particularly care about) rely on people who are in the industry. Similarly, cool stuff like science don’t make headlines unless it’s extraordinary. Therefore, you need to follow people who are closely involved in those fields.
Another reason for revamping my social media presence: I get to follow accounts like the one in the picture above, which post poetry. I can feel more cultured just by logging on to Twitter. It sounds silly, but I can see a beautiful line from a 20th century poem or book and glean inspiration or perhaps learn a new word. Simple, but effective.
Mainly though, I use Twitter to follow people with the same interests, or who are in the same career field as me. I want to see what they’re working on, who they might know, and what kind of sources they have so I can learn something from them. Same with Instagram. I follow a lot of video/filmmakers. On the other hand, Pinterest gives me a lot of practical guides and how-tos on cleaning, gardening, DIY storage projects, and nerf gun modifications (what do other people use Pinterest for?).
And that’s all without even mentioning LinkedIn, the mackdaddy of careers and connections, a site I also stay updated with and finally downloaded the app for.
My social media revamping isn’t solely about creating an “image” for myself or being squeaky clean for my professional contacts; of course it’s also about fun and silliness. But when I’m scrolling through, laughing at a funny post, I can also see something inspiring or something informative, or a big, breaking headline. The convergence of entertainment, education, news, fun, career, and personal growth. Why not have it all?