The Optimist’s Guide to Social Media: 8 Ways to Use It Effectively
Social media certainly has its dark sides, but don’t listen to people who tell you it’s the devil. Being active on one or more platforms has definite upsides that you will benefit from if you don’t get scared off by the vitriol. So consider what you’re about to read an optimist’s guide to social media!
Of course, as with everything, you need to partake of it responsibly. It can be misused to the point that it disrupts your social, personal, and professional lives. However, knowing the good side of social media can help you live an infinitely better existence.
In this article, we examine all the ways that social media gets it right. So before you rush off to cancel your Twitter or Meta accounts, consider these benefits.
1. Keeps You In Touch With Friends and Family
Social media helps you keep in touch with friends and family. This isn’t so easy to do when there are distances between you and limited resources for connecting. For example, you can use Skype or FaceTime to connect with anyone in the world at any time.
More than just a phone call or text message, this gives you the chance to see their eyes, body language, and personality come to life. It’s a great way to keep those relationships strong and build new ones.
2. Informs You of Current Events
In a world that is increasingly connected, it is more important than ever for students to be aware of what is happening in the world around them. Social media provides an excellent way for students to stay informed about current events.
Through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, students can follow news sources and receive updates on breaking stories. In addition, social media allows students to share articles and opinion pieces with their friends and classmates, starting discussions about the issues that matter to them.
With so much information available at their fingertips, students who use social media are better positioned to understand the world around them and make informed decisions about the issues that affect their lives.
One thing to watch out for, though, when following current events is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that confirms your existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges those beliefs.
This can be a problem when trying to stay informed about current events, as you may only be exposed to information that supports your existing point of view thanks to ethically questionable algorithms. (Looking at you, Zuckerberg.) To avoid this, make sure to follow a variety of news sources, including ones that challenge how you see the world and your immediate sense of right and wrong.
Try to see where other people are coming from. It is more likely to help you see them as human beings and engage in constructive conversation.
3. Good for Networking
Social media has become an essential tool for students looking to build their professional networks and find job opportunities. Thanks to platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, students can easily connect with other workers in their industry, as well as recruiters or potential employers.
Additionally, social media can act as a virtual bulletin board, allowing students to post announcements about their work or research experience, which can then be discovered by recruiters or hiring managers on a search through social media profiles. Overall, social media is a powerful resource for students looking to advance in their careers and build lasting connections within the workforce.
4. Connects You to New Job Opportunities
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting students with potential employers. By creating an online profile and expanding their professional networks, individuals can gain access to a variety of new job opportunities.
Furthermore, social media platforms allow people to showcase their skills and talents, giving hiring managers greater insight into their qualifications for different roles. Additionally, these platforms offer users the opportunity to engage directly with potential employers through messaging or collaboration tools, providing an easy way to make personal connections that can lead to job offers down the road.
Overall, social media is a highly effective way to connect students with career opportunities and help them jumpstart their professional lives. And connecting with employers connects students to something else.
Continuing education. Many employers today want to invest in their workforce. This can be a way around the student loan problem. Rather than spending tons of money upfront, you can get an affordable undergraduate education, find employment, and then use your employers’ educational incentives to go back to school for free (or at a much deeper discount).
5. Helps You Research Products and Services
Social media is a powerful tool for students who are looking to research products and services. Not only does it allow users to easily access information about various companies, but it also provides instant access to online customer reviews and ratings.
This makes it much easier for students to find out not only which businesses are worth exploring further, but also which ones they should stay away from. In addition, social media also offers platforms for direct communication with company representatives, giving students another avenue for getting candid feedback on specific products or services.
From gathering product information to customer reviews, then connecting directly with brands themselves, social media plays an invaluable role in making research easier for students. And doing so, helps them make better-informed decisions about what to purchase. Ultimately, social media makes it possible for students to get valuable insights into the world of commerce, helping them navigate this crucial aspect of life more effectively.
A side benefit of this is supporting companies that share your values. Generation Z, in particular, doesn’t want its collective buying power spent on values they despise. Using social media to see what a company supports is crucial to upholding that.
6. Links You to People With Similar Interests
Social media connects students with other like-minded individuals, whether they go to the same school or not. These online communities give students a chance to find and interact with peers who share similar interests.
This can be especially beneficial for those who may not have many opportunities to connect in real life. Additionally, social media fosters meaningful relationships between students. It encourages them to continue exploring their passions and developing their skills outside of the classroom.
Overall, social media has become an essential tool for enhancing the educational experience and allowing students to thrive both academically and socially. And with a vast selection of special interest groups available, it’s virtually impossible not to find your pack.
7. Testing Out Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
In today’s world, social media can help launch a successful business. Thanks to the power of social media, more students than ever are testing their entrepreneurial spirit by starting their own companies.
By creating a profile on a popular platform like one of the ones mentioned above or going viral on TikTok, they can reach a global audience with their products or services.
In addition, they can use social media to connect with potential customers and partners, as well as to generate buzz about their business. With the help of social media, young entrepreneurs are changing the way businesses are started and operated.
One particularly successful college student who used social media to launch their own business is Kylie Jenner. In 2015, she founded Kylie Cosmetics, a makeup company that has generated over $1 billion and quickly become one of the most successful beauty brands in the world.
Of course, Kylie had famous namesakes in Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian (also social media geniuses) to help her along. That said, you don’t really need prior fame to become super successful on social networks. For instance, there was a time when Justin Bieber was just a regular kid from Ontario. With an impressive music career, he’s been able to amass over 101 million followers on Twitter alone. But it all started with producing and putting out his own YouTube videos.
8. Obtaining Feedback or Tutoring Help
As the use of social media grows, so does its potential as a learning tool. More and more students are using social networks to get help with their assignments, receive feedback on their work, and connect with other learners.
For example, many students use Facebook groups to ask questions about assignments or to share resources with classmates. Twitter is also popular among students for following experts in their field and for joining online conversations about course material.
In addition, several educational apps and platforms are designed specifically for use in the classroom. As social media evolves, it is becoming an increasingly valuable resource for students.
No Apologies for an Optimist’s Guide to Social Media
Really, it’s not as bad as people say. But what is the right way to use it? Well, it depends on your goals. If you’re looking to make new friends, explore your interests, or test out your entrepreneurial spirit, then this optimist’s guide to social media is a great place to start. However, if you’re looking for help with school assignments or feedback on your work, there are many resources available.
Social media is good if it’s used in the right way, and there are many ways that students can use it to benefit their education. Whether you’re looking for support in your studies or simply trying to engage with peers online, social media has something for everyone. So start exploring today!
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons License]