As a 22-year-old, social media has been a part of my life since high school. It’s sad to say, but I can’t imagine life without my smartphone and being able to mindlessly browse Twitter whenever I want. Social media has been both a time-killer before bed, and admittedly, a savior to avoid eye contact and awkward situations. As I go through school and see the potential social media now has in the business world, I am recognizing it is not just for entertainment – it is an actual tool.
The majority of my social media consumption takes place on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I usually check all three several times a day, to keep up on current events, my friends’ activities, and updates from my favorite celebrities or brands. Yes, I have notifications set up for every time Taylor Swift posts something. I also love finding new recipes to try through Facebook, or drawing inspiration for photography from Instagram and Pinterest.
Twitter is where I really let my thoughts fly. I love the micro blogging style of Twitter that allows immediate contact with people all over the world, to discuss important issues, and connect on similar interests. I also use Twitter to reach out to companies that I have had a bad experience with, questions, or simply let them know I was satisfied. It seems social media yields quicker replies than customer service lines these days.
I’ve recently tried to use these tools for more professional matters. I revisited my LinkedIn, which had gone neglected for some time, and updated my information, while making some new connections. I also discovered the world of Twitter chats, and that there are several of them being led by influences in a variety of subjects every day.
I don’t have much to gripe about when it comes to social media. If there is one issue I have, it is that all of these platforms are trying to become too similar to each other. All three of my favorite platforms now offer live video streaming, and brands seem to post the same exact content on every platform at once.
Instagram recently rolled out their Stories feature, a move to take on Snapchat, and Facebook now has a similar feature in their Messenger app. I would prefer each of my social media tools play very distinct roles, rather than vary just enough for me to keep all three.
Meanwhile, we still don’t have an edit button on Twitter.