Social media is a tremendously powerful and fascinating technological marvel. Made possible only by the relatively recent advent of the Internet, fueled by all manner of human motivation, and capitalized upon with incredible variety, social media has rapidly become part of the new normal. Love it or hate it, for good or for bad, we cannot escape it. Social media is here to stay.
I am not a digital native. I did not grow up immersed in social media. When I was growing up, social media did not exist. Nevertheless, as a person that grew into social media as a part of an unfolding culture, I have come to love it.
As with any new technology, I could see the good and the bad. Social media continues to be used for good and for bad. However, it is unwise to throw out an entire technological capability purely because some use it for bad. Shortsighted approaches never turn out well.
Here are four reasons that I love social media:
- Enlarged Playing Field. Regardless of what your endeavor is, social media grants you an immediately enlarged playing field. Main Street is one physical space. Social media is everywhere. Main Street is limited by physical barriers and distance that will stop untold numbers of people. Social media is enabled by untold numbers of people who can click a mouse or touch a screen.
- Instant Connection. Most of us have often experienced how important, convenient, and helpful texting and messaging can be. Never before have we enjoyed the ability to connect with someone silently and instantly. In some cases, those connections have even been lifesaving.
- Hidden Knowledge Revealed. Countless answers to questions have been revealed to you and me purely based on something that we came across in social media. Obviously, I am not saying that you swallow all the garbage and urban legends too. Chew the meat and spit out the bones. Yes, sometimes you encounter many bones, but by the same token, some of that meat is mighty tasty.
- New And Restored Relationships. I have friends and professional people in my life today that I never would have connected with or reconnected with had it not been for social media. In the physical world, it is so easy unintentionally to block people or to lose track of people. Social media is a tremendous catalyst at creating or restoring relationships.
Social media is not used by everyone the same way. I think that is good because we are all different. Some people are constantly immersed in social media. Some people use social media in a highly selective fashion. And some people for various reasons choose not to engage in any social media. I criticize no one for their personal decision. That is their prerogative.
As for me, personally and professionally, I have only found my life enriched in infinite ways via social media. I intend to keep using social media for all that enrichment.