How many times have you heard the discussion about the uselessness and dangers of social media? How many times have you been in this controversial argument about it? How many times have you heard that this younger generation is wasting its time online? It is true that today, most of us have multiple accounts across several platforms and Facebook is no longer the only giant in this category. We share pictures on Instagram, we tweet small thoughts on Twitter, we send temporary shots on Snapchat, we follow blogs on Tumblr, and I’m only mentioning the bigger ones. The number of social platforms online today is huge. They are a way to stay aware of what is happening either in the news – your timeline is often full of articles or people commenting on top news events – but also what is happening around you, the events in your city, the next concert, an interesting conference, a festival. You can create groups to talk about organizing activities, to ask questions about homework or exams. You can also meet people online, people you would have never met without social media. You can connect with people who share the same interests, you can feel less lonely by realizing that some people actually understand you. You can meet people who inspire you, who help you to raise your consciousness about certain issues, who teach you things you didn’t have access to because of your cultural environment. Social media represents a more horizontal way of sharing, so you can have easier access to information. The platforms can be a really useful tool for your social life.
Speaking of equally important parts of our lives – our jobs – we have to admit that social media has become one of the most fruitful promotional tools. There are plenty of ways to attract customers. If you want to enlarge the positive publicity within the audience of Facebook and Instagram, for example, you can either invest in advertisements on these resources, or use the opportunities of barter. Mutually beneficial exchange of posts and image advertising is free for both sides, but the effect of such a tandem further monetizes. Nowadays, the majority of companies have accounts on Instagram, which I think is a good way of constructing brand identity. Visualization is the crucial thing if you want your company to be successful in modern times. Jobs in this kind of communication sphere can be a good basis for career development also. For instance, if you want to start working in PR, one of the most widespread ways to easily merge into the profession is social media marketing (SMM) management. You create posts, pick pictures, get acquainted with the customers, meet their needs properly, etc. However, it can be a tricky job, because you connect to colleagues and partners mostly via the internet without seeing them eye-to-eye. That is the annoying part of an SMM-manager’s craft, though if you’re an introvert – it is your type of career indeed!
These social networks are part of our life, new jobs were created through them and you can actually make money just by being on the internet. Microsoft Word spell-check cannot underline names in red and they have no longer have to start with a capital letter. Every website with a self-promoting aim has their platforms together somewhere, to be easily noticed.
Facebook creates your friends and imaginary friendships, Instagram shows you strangers, Google knows what you like, YouTube makes money through you, snapchat forces you to think that these photos no longer exist anywhere, Pinterest steals your creativity, LinkedIn makes you think the internet will give you a dream job, Twitter makes a mess of the original sources of statements.
However, it is still YOU, who makes sense of these networks. You are the one who knows what will get many “likes”, what stands behind the picture. You are the one who decides about the content of your posts. Unfortunately, you are not the one who decides the fate of your posts. Even if you think you share only a small amount and that you control what is released about your life, you never know who is downloading, rewriting, sharing and using this material somewhere around the fantastic world of internet. Whenever you share photo of you taken by someone else on your camera, you are playing with authority laws. Every time you put a song as a background to your videos, you are not certain of the appropriate laws either. Each of your selfies containing someone else – a random stranger- is an invasion of that someone’s privacy.
With the magic of social networking, your name can be enough to find a lot of information about you. When you have a common name, it is more than enough to know one place, one event, or one life stage to identify your personality amongst gazillions of internet information. Therefore, you can easily create your own dream story, you are allowed to boost your own confidence thanks to likes and the feeling of doing something appreciated. However, when one is supposed to really define his/her qualities, it becomes tough. “I have thirty-three likes on each of my profile photos!” is not proof of a person’s quality. And you are doing all this while sitting at home, or even when you are experiencing something amazing but immediately thinking, “how would I write a status about this and how many likes could my picture have?”.
Taste of different truth
First kiss – The video with kissing couples consisting of complete strangers fascinated the world with the philosophy of kissing someone unknown so passionately. Then somebody discovered it was a hidden advertisement for the clothes worn by the actors, and a controversial discussions unfolded on YouTube.
A girl with a different story of her life – After months of a successful “career” on Instagram, one girl revealed how different her life is and what stands behind the pictures – a lot of time, many bad photos, and thinking about Instagram every single time.
Social life in seconds:
- Google gets 40 000 search queries every second
- The number of Facebook users rises by 6 every second (the average number of Facebook friend is 338)
- 6000 Tweets are sent out every second
- YouTube is gifted with 300 hours of video every minute
Facebook – 1.71 billion
YouTube – 1 billion
LinkedIn – 450 million
Instagram – 400 million
Twitter – 320 million
Google+ – 300 million
Pinterest – 100 million
Snapchat – 100 million
- The Facebook page with most of likes is “Facebook for Every Phone”
- The most viewed YouTube video is called “Charlie bit my finger” (go confirm it 😉 )
- The most Instagrammed food is pizza
Text: Mathilde Roux, Alena Antipina, Anežka Prosecká