Do you ever get that feeling when you post a photo to Instagram and your heart starts racing and all you can think about is… was that a bad photo? Should I have used Valencia instead of hefe? Was the caption witty or just lame? Hmmm maybe, the ten hashtags were too much… why aren’t people liking my photo?! And then all of a sudden, ding ding ding – the likes start pouring in! Yes, I won… people like me… oh my, 10… 20… 40… oh look at me go!
A little over-dramatic? Maybe. But in all seriousness, this inherent need to be a part of social media is a topic I’d like discuss further. Beginning with the concept of social media itself, which in its basic form is the idea of being “social” online using a variety of tools to do so. But are we really being social?
By taking photos and tweeting with friends, does that not take us out of the present moment and instead remove us from this so-called social gathering. Have you ever been out with friends and all of sudden you look around and everyone’s strolling through their Instagram feed and not talking to one another? Again, is social media not just distracting us from actually being social IRL?
Now I may appear to be siding with this idea of not using social media and instead immersing yourself in real life social settings. But I myself am also a social media user and have definitely grown addicted to feeding the beast (i.e. social media). So I thought it would be worth exploring both sides – the pros and the cons of contributing to the world of social media.
First, let’s start with the pros.
Become a socialite – Okay, maybe not a socialite but by contributing to platforms like Facebook, you’re able to see events that are posted by your friends and members of your community. Meaning, if you choose to partake in such events… you may have a very full social calendar.
Become suuuper popular – Again, maybe you won’t become as popular as Beyoncé but by contributing to social media (i.e. having a profile/account), you open yourself up to networking opportunities – whether that be for financial gain or to just to build a bigger (broader) group of friends.
Now, comes some of the cons.
FOMO (Fear of missing out) – Yes, it’s a real thing… and it effects all of us at one time or another. By not contributing to social media you may feel you’re missing out on what’s being discussed at the office or within your friend group. Picture this, you’re in the office and two of your colleagues are hovering over their phones saying, “Did you see that insta pic of Joe in accounting from last weekend?” “Yeah, I can’t believe he posted that!” It’s opportunities like these and many more that you may miss by not being on social media.
“Oh sorry, you didn’t get the Facebook invite?” – Again, there is a real possibility that by not contributing to social media you may actually miss out on events and activities, especially if they’re not advertised or shared with you IRL. I’ve noticed more and more that people are utilizing social media to gather people for more than just birthday parties, they’ve begun using social media to gather like-minded people who want to stand up for what they belief in (i.e. a protest).
Now, I said before I didn’t want to pick sides. And really how can I? At this point in my life and my career, I can’t imagine cutting myself off from the opportunities that social media provides me, however I have begun to cut down on the number of hours and days spent scrolling through my phone.
To conclude, the biggest takeaway I can provide is to decide how you want to incorporate social media into your life. Don’t let it control you. Instead see it as opportunity to share, without worrying about the number of likes or followers you have – just share, because the world needs more pictures of you and puppies 🙂
Let me know how you choose to use social media? Have you been able to strike a healthy balance between sharing and not worrying about the likes?
If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and cons of participating in the world of social media, check out some great articles:
- Is quitting social media the key to millennial happiness?
- 5 Weird Negative Effects of Social Media on Your Brain
- Your Biggest Social Media Risk: Not Doing Anything About Social Employees
Social media posts
Facebook – Thinking about taking a “break” from your relationship with social media? Read through a few pros and cons before you do http://bit.ly/2f0XcDP
Twitter – Are you scrolling through that news feed a bit too much lately? Maybe it’s time for a break. Read my newest blog on the topic http://bit.ly/2f0XcDP