Social Media, is now officially public enemy number 02 right after COVID-19. Social media started out just like everything else, with the intention to help make our lives more bearable. However this as always tends to become something that makes life in some contexts even more unbearable. However what if we looked at the benefits of social media and how we can make the most of it in this time of serious self evaluation? Here are some positive aspects of social media that we can leverage during volatile times.
- Social Connections :- Since we are inherently social animals, the importance of social connections can be maintained through the means of social media. This is not to say you cannot maintain them without social media, however the fact is it is notably easier to connect with someone who is thousands of miles/ or even five miles away through a social platform. This is because of the nature of social media platforms. It gives you the time to send a message that may not necessarily be urgent but establishes a convenient communication channel. It also helps you connect with potential new networks and can help in your professional endeavor to meet like minded people.
- Business Marketing:- Small businesses and free lancers have identified the convenience of marketing through social media platforms. The fact that a niche is much easier to target on social media is a fact, and it is also easier too monetize. This is especially true during COVID times, since more traditional ways of marketing are not as practical to initiate. It also is a far cheaper way to promote your brand and stay relevant.
- Creative Expression :– Creatives sometimes find a lot of benefit from social media platforms because it makes sharing your work to a significantly large audience that much easier. Think about it, if you were Picasso in the early 20th Century you would have had to get your hands on a bunch of tangible materials and showcase your work to the public through many avenues. Now it just takes a click of a button named POST.
- Sharing Ideas:- One thing that I have learnt is that if used with the right intention, social media can really be helpful in sharing information and ideas which are helpful to people. Unfortunately the issue remains that the “bad” often outshines the “good” and gets overlooked. However if you are someone with the intention of helping people, social media is a great and easy place to start. This includes the info you have on help hotlines that have worked for you, therapists, recipes for healthy food and even to find lost dogs.
- Maintaining relationships:- We all know that experts are skeptical about the effects of social media on relationships, this is due to the addictive nature of the apps and the need to always check in on “what’s hot”? there by being a constant distraction to people which hampers their focus on actual relationships. However, especially in this age of “Quarantining” these platforms serve the purpose of instantly being able to check in with loved ones no matter where they are. If these options from technology were not available, where would we be?
- Education and awareness – This is perhaps the most beneficial of all the positives of social media, the internet has provided us a channel to retrieve unlimited information on every topic known to human kind. This benefit is unparalleled. It takes away the dependency to always rely on an external entity with personal biases to inform you about a relevant topic. The internet gives you the choice of “checking it out for yourself”based on your interests and requirements. Whether it be a fitness influencer or a relationship guru you now can learn things much easier and even more effectively if you know who to follow and what to filter out.
However a frequent digital DETOX is highly recommended as the cons of social media far out number the pros, especially since most of us have little self control to begin with.
Shanelle De Almeida
Licensed Clinical Psychologist