Social media gets a lot of blame these days.
We bash it for messing with people’s mental and emotional state. We argue it makes the next generation more narcissistic. We fault each other for not truly living in the world and hiding behind the mask of social media. We blame it for crumbling relationships. We shake our fingers at it for ruining the inspiration and motivation of promising individuals.
Yes, it can pose a lot of problems. But Facebook and Instagram aren’t going to disappear overnight. If anything, their popularity continues to grow.
In other words, we shouldn’t fight it. We just need to get a little bit smarter when it comes to using it - especially because it does have a ton of benefits.
Social Media Connects Us All More Than Ever Before
Get this: In the horse and buggy days, it took days - if not weeks - to deliver a message to someone across the country.
Today, it takes less than a second. Type in your message. Press that send button and BOOM. Message delivered.
It’s kind of impressive when you look at social media and the internet from that perspective. In a matter of 100 years, we’ve evolved in leaps and bounds because of it.
Long-distance relationship? No problem. Video chat is there to help. You can basically have coffee (or wine) together in a different country. Hey, maybe even a whole meal!
It has brought people closer together. It allows us to keep those connections, even from afar. You won’t necessarily lose your best friend if they leave for college or university a few towns away, because you can stay connected so easily.
You can see what big trip your friends have gone on lately. You can see what people are up to today. It’s crazy cool. We just never really talk about the good side of it all. So we’re shining that spotlight on it right here and right now. We’ve started down a shimmery road of positive, so let’s go full-throttle.
What else is great about social media?
Social Media Opens Windows to the Whole World
Wonder why Bali is getting so popular for all kinds of travellers? Thank social media for that.
While this may coincide with the whole “fear of missing out,” the positive is that it pushes you to dream big. It drives you to book that next big adventure. At least, for a lot of people, it has.
Need some inspiration for your next vacation? The travel pages on Instagram are a worthwhile place to start. And while your trip to Africa may not exactly consist of brunch or dinner with a giraffe fawning over you, you can get pretty dang close. Safari anyone?
And it’s not just about travel either. If you need a career boost, there are zillions of inspiring accounts. If you need some spiritual guidance, there are accounts for that too. Maybe some inspiration and motivation to get your butt to the gym? It’s on there. There are also Facebook pages galore with the same stuff.
Anything that doesn’t make you feel good, hit that unfollow button. It’s not worth your time or your angst!
Social Media Can Drive Personal Growth
Once you find your circle of positivity, step on that pedal baby. Let it drive a bit of personal growth. Let it fuel ideas on how to cope with life and stress better. Let that person sharing their fitness journey push yours.
In other words, let it empower you. It’s possible. Learn a new recipe from it or a new skill. Use it to design and organize your new home. Hint: YouTube is great for this kind of thing. For a brief period, I took knitting lessons via YouTube (I’m not even kidding).
All this information is so easy to get now. Before, you’d have to go searching for it via a massive library or by asking around. And even then - you may have not got an answer.
Today? Ask for recommendations on social media. Type in the hashtag for your topic. Or simply just use the internet to Google it. Whatever floats your boat and gets you the answer you need.
Social Media Keeps Us Informed
Need to know news? You’ll find it on Facebook or another social media platform.
I actually deleted my news app on my phone. And while some people cringe when I tell them that fact, it’s one of the best things I ever did. Most of the news is negative and I decided I don’t need that negative air clouding up my life. If I need to know something, someone will post about it. Thank you, social media!
So, How Can You Use Social Media Best?
First and foremost, quit comparing yourself to others, especially when it comes to things you can’t change. Use the apps mindfully. And monitor your usage in accordance with your emotions and relationships.
Unfollow any negative triggers. Instead, focus on using it in a positive way. You are absolutely in control of the way you use it and who you follow or friend on it.
It may also help to actually limit your usage. While it does have positives, some research indicates it can be addictive. Some apps and phones have settings where you can go in and set a time limit per day on each social media platform. It helps you become more aware of how much you use it and also helps you strike a good balance.
Go Ahead, Celebrate Social Media Day!
Social Media Day takes place on June 30th. It places emphasis on how social media has changed the way we interact, connect, and even re-connect.
In short, social media has and is changing the world. It’s re-defining the time we currently live in. It’s opening worlds of opportunity for people who may not have had it before.
But make sure to focus on the positive of it all. It’s there. You just need to find it for yourself, as well as a definite balance with it and real life.
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