I would like to be able to say that I utilize social media in a creatively unique or deeply personal way. However, the fact of the matter is that I use it in the most boring sense. I rarely share creative ideas or personal thoughts and moments. Realizing that I do not take full advantage of the very reasons why I love social media. I am constantly in awe of the ways in which social media connects human beings. For example, last weekend my Twitter timeline was filled with people tweeting about Beyonce, “The Queen” and her VMA “flawless” performance. Before twitter or any other form of social media, an event such as this one would be watched at home or a small gathering where a person could share their thoughts to only the handful of people who were present at that time. Perhaps they would then wait until school or another social gathering to mention the performance to a few more people. Twitter allows a person to share their thoughts, or in this case praises, about a live event in real time with millions of people across the globe watching the same event. Now, being able to read about what some French guy thinks about Beyonce’s booty is not exactly a life changing moment but the opportunity to read global opinions could be monumental in more pressing matters such as the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and the conflict in Israel. It is the way that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook become a tool for millions to engage in conversations and share content that inspires me to use social media. On a much smaller scale, I thoroughly enjoy being able to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances in such a quick manner. With many of my friends away at different schools, I love that I can easily observe their activity or send them a friendly message.
However, it is the impulse to constantly share content that makes me dislike social media. When I log on to any social networking site it never fails that someone has abused the power to post whatever comes to their mind. I think that social media has made society in general grow to be too comfortable with sharing useless or private information about their lives. I can’t tell you how many time I have seen the same person post about their wild party they attended the night before or the inappropriate drama going on between them and friend or boyfriend/girlfriend. I hate how social media has redefined our sense of privacy. It disgusts me that I often find the people who freely share the more personal content of their lives on social media sites have more followers or friends. As if they are rewarded for their drama and lack of self respect.
It is things of this nature that make me nervous about using social media. I afraid that I do not share enough or that I share too much. A lot of anxiety also comes from the amount of followers I have. Sometimes if feels as if my number of Twitter or Instagram followers and likes is directly related to my relevance, importance, and likability.
My favorite social media sites change a bit depending on what I am sharing. I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter because I love reading other people’s tweets but I hate tweeting my own opinions or thoughts because I rarely get favorites. I often joke that some girls can tweet an average photo of them and their significant other and receive upwards of 20 favorites but if I posted the same picture I would maybe get two. I feel like some people just have that “it” factor on Twitter and I just do not have “it.” I have more appreciation for Instagram probably because that is where I have the most followers. Photography has always been an interest of mine so sharing my pictures is a joy. However, I am also very picky about the photos I post. In other words, Instagram makes me too hard on myself. I really enjoy using Pinterest and Tumblr because I feel more free to be myself and share things that would probably be considered weird on other sites. These social media outlets feel more like a form of self-expression than Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
As my embarrassing mirror pictures from 2009 have taught me, whatever you post on the internet is going to be public and can come back to haunt you. Therefore, I would say the main change in my social media use is the level of maturity. As I have aged I have added more of a filter to the things I post or comment.
I hope to utilize this class to improve my social media use as a professional and personal brand. I want to learn how to transition from a strictly personal use to a mixture of professionalism and personal opinion that makes sense and works well together. I am also very excited to create a LinkedIn account as I have been meaning to get one for quite some time!