It wasn’t until this year that I found out there was a Social Media Day. Now, most times I sort of roll my eyes at whatever random holidays people make up these days (for ex: National Coffee Day is November 29th, but that’s ridiculous because National Coffee Day is everyday for me), but this is one ‘holiday’ I’m all for. Social media is one of my favorite things in life. I love it, I use it religiously, and I live through it everyday. It’s something that has transformed greatly within the past few years since it began, increasing the impact it makes, and a lot of that has to do with how much technology has grown.
I got Facebook in 2008 at the age of fifteen and I got Twitter the next year. Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat soon followed afterwards. It’s pretty weird to think about social media back then because it used to be simple. People used it for fun and put up mundane information about themselves. I remember my tweets used include what I ate for dinner or what I watched on TV that night. And let’s not forget the most iconic, classic social media platform of all time — MySpace. I don’t have one anymore, but my usage for it prior to Facebook consisted of designing my page, putting up surveys as blog posts, making sure I had the best songs on my playlist, and curating my top eight friends to perfection.
Social media today has completely changed the game. It’s now not only being used for fun, but it’s also an actual job for several people, it’s the primary go-to for promotion and networking, and it’s also there to help twenty somethings figure themselves out.
Through platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, and blogging sites, people are able to make income based on what they do. For example, Instagram and Snapchat users with huge followings can promote brands by posting pictures or videos of the product, and get paid tons of money. Viners and YouTubers are being paid millions by their chosen platforms by putting out quality content that gets millions of hits everyday. Bloggers get paid through ads on their sites. And then there are those who work as Social Media Editors, running the social media accounts of brands to promote them. In fact, social media is now being known as the perfect place to advertise and promote one’s brand as it allows them to reach masses without doing too much work or paying as much.
That’s not to say that social media has only become a money making machine. It’s also still just fun to use. People might not be on MySpace anymore, but they create their own aesthetic through their Instagram feeds and Tumblrs. By doing this, it has helped several people, especially twenty somethings who often feel lost, figure themselves out and gain more confidence. It’s also a great way to network and make friends. I’ve still kept in touch with several friends who I met on social media back in 2009. A lot of that has to do with being able to connect with people who share the same interests as you. It’s like skipping a step when trying to make friends because you know you’ve got something in common.
Lately, I know there has been a lot of talk and debate about the millennial age. People have been pointing fingers at our way of living life, saying that we’re too reliant on our technology. I say shun those people because there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. This is the technology age and I say we embrace it and embrace social media along with it because it’s only going to advance from here. Social media has revolutionized from this fun networking thing between friends to crafting lives and careers for people. It’s helped shape a lot of people and help guide them to realize who they are and what they want to do. That’s not to say that we should all stay glued to our phones all the time because it’s also important to balance.