By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor
While in one of my classes, my peers around me began to bash social media and its entire presence in society. They began to talk about how they had to stay away from it to avoid feeling like they had to keep up with the crowd and the standards around them. All the while all I could think about is how social media does have some benefits that are worth mentioning, including being able to stay up to date on what is going on around you and staying in contact with people you don’t see very often. Although it may not always be the best thing to have around, just like anything else, it has its good and bad sides.
Social media is a tool that most stores use to reach out to their target audiences and market their services or products. Most businesses that benefit from this the most are family-owned and use to rely only on the word of mouth to gain new customers. It is also a free tool that they can use to their advantage and can learn how to use it effectively to gain the most reach. People who may be starting a new brand can also use social media to market themselves and increase their presence, something employers take under consideration while looking at potential candidates.
There is a stigma of being nosy that comes with seeing what your friends may or may not be posting online. Most people will say that their reasoning of not having social media is related to not wanting to know what everyone else is doing, and although this is OK, most people shame others for wanting to know what everyone else is up to, and that is what social media is for. Simply because someone does not want to know what’s going on in their friend group doesn’t mean that others don’t.
Social media is one of the first places that you might learn about a recent news event. It can inform you of major developments that may have occurred in your area and you can control what sources you receive your news from. When society is saturated in news outlets, it’s important to make sure that you have a mix of sources so that you can understand all perspectives of an event or story.
Some people say that they don’t care about what another Kardashian did and that is a main reason as to why they don’t have a Twitter account. If that’s what they think social media is only about, then they haven’t tried to see what else there is to see. Sure, sometimes you hate seeing the articles that have topics you could care less about, but you always have the ability to unfollow or mute those accounts. Like anything else, if you feel like you’re becoming obsessed with social media then you can moderate how much to use. Although it might be difficult to figure out how much self-control is needed, you can practice finding a balance for you.
Social media can become overwhelming, but it is important to recognize the benefits it provides to society. Through social media, many have kept in touch with distant relatives and some have even found their long-lost twin. So, before you crucify social media and anyone who ever used it, acknowledge that there is some benefit to its existence.