I have a love/hate relationship with social media but we’re working on it.
From a young age we’re asked “Who are you?” “What makes you special?” “What do you want to do when you grow up?” and while in the past our journeys to answer these questions were relatively private, they are now broadcast far and wide. Any win, any loss, times of triumph and times of defeat are up for comparison, judgement, and scrutiny. While I’m on Twitter constantly, and find myself scrolling for ages through Instagram, I always feel exasperated at the end of it. Couldn’t I have used my time better? What did I really gain from looking at the vacation photos of that girl I met 10 years ago and never spoke to again? And were the last 32 photos of cats really worth it? I would have been just as happy stopping after the first 68.
Alternatively, I believe social media is one of the greatest tools at our disposal. Through Twitter I’ve grown a network of friends who have inspired me professionally and personally. I’ve been able to keep up to date with issues that matter to me. And heck yes I’ve looked at 100 pictures of cats and loved each one of them.
I’ve also built a career in communications relying heavily on my intuitive and learned social media skills. I’ve become “good” at social media. I can write a tweet in a flash, I can grow followers by leaps and bounds, I can target content to succeed in any demographic. I’d love to say these skills grew from years and many dollars spent on education, but in reality it’s because I grew up using social media as an extra limb. I’ve never taken the time to think about WHY we use social media, or the bigger picture of what social media means to our society.
I’d like this course to give me that little bit of extra insight that will tip the scales to a love for social media. We’ve been in an on and off relationship for over a decade so I guess it’s about time I settle down.
Do you ever feel conflicted when you use social media? And what are some ways you balance your real life with your online life?
P.S. Click here for 100 pictures of cats – you’re welcome.