The advent and wide usage of social media have in the past sparked debate and also led to research on the impact of these platforms on our lives. Moving from being just an unusual hobby to being a daily part of people’s lives, social media has grown to become the usual way for reaching potential customers, circulating information, agenda‐setting, preaching, you name it. There is so much to gain from social media without a doubt. The platforms are changing lives more than many of us would like to admit. However, we are mindful of the fact that some of its effects have been negative. This is how embracing social media can change your life
- Creating a personal brand – social media has become one of the best ways to market one’s skills. Various social media platforms offer listings of jobs available all over the world which can be narrowed down to your very own location while your personal information is readily available for potential employers. Social media allows job seekers to create accounts that make it easier for the employer to have access to more information about the potential employee, which could not be included in the resume. This makes job hunting a lot easier although competition is also constantly growing. Some job seekers have shared stories on social media about how much they needed jobs and were lucky enough to get responses directly from their soon to be new employers. There are greater chances of finding a job for a social media user than there is for a nonuser. Talents have been identified, developed, and publicized as a result of a simple video or audio shared on social media.
- Marketing your products and/or services – social media can help you grow your business. The platforms have made it easier for companies to be found by or to find and interact with customers, thereby increasing the companies’ reach. With billions of people accessing social media per day, companies are guaranteed that their adverts will be seen by many at a very low cost. This allows companies to bridge the gap between them and their customers. However, while as a business person you enjoy these benefits, you should also be ready to deal with unhappy customers too. Voicing out concerns has become easier and such information spreads fast. On the same hand, clip sharing on social media has become a popular way of drawing attention to television shows to increase viewership. Use social media to amplify your brand.
- Getting business ideas – there is so much information shared by businesses and entrepreneurs on social media. It is easy to get business ideas from all over the world and implement them in a way that suits you. It is also possible to find people to collaborate with and make a more profitable business than you would make individually.
- Networking with a group of similar‐minded people – social media has made it easy to find people with similar interests. This has led to what has been widely known as virtual communities where people of the same ‘culture’ from different places meet virtually to share information and support each other. Sometimes it can be hard to be completely open and share information with people who know you personally due to differences in personalities. Also, social media can help you create relationships with people you would have otherwise found it impossible to communicate with
- Motivation – with many people sharing their success stories and their struggles, following
and connecting with the right people can help you understand life for what it is for others too, and help you realize the possibilities that are there even in the midst of struggles. Knowing how much people are achieving and how they continue to strive and use obstacles as stepping stones can motivate you to keep moving toward your own dreams. You must, however, try to avoid people who live a fast and flashy life while it is not clear how they how or where they started. It often puts people under unnecessary pressure and makes them feel more like failures.
- Learning – social media has led to an increase in social learning, a better understanding of the world and other cultures, and has made it easier for students from various places to connect and learn from each other. Some concepts are explained as people engage in discussions on different topics.
- Staying informed – social media provides has all sorts of information one can ever think of and has features that allow you to sort or filter content according to its relevancy to you. The discussions help you understand the information better than you would if you just read on your own.
However, it is important to note that social media can be addictive and distractive. It is easy to get caught up in the discussions or following trends at the expense of your to‐do list. Therefore, you should be able to control and/or limit usage in order to be productive. Also, there are many cases of misinformation, negativity, and cyberbullying. This requires one to be careful regarding the type of people to interact with, posting personal information and, filtering information.