Let’s be honest here; social media tends to get a bad rep. Influencer culture, cancel culture, promotion of unhealthy lifestyles, and an emphasis on the importance of other people’s opinions on you are all just some of the reasons why social media is viewed as it is. As quickly as it came, social media seemingly took over our lives, and the Covid-19 lockdowns (you know, the ones where we were left with nothing to keep us company besides our phones) show just how quickly we can become addicted to the damn thing.
But all of these negative things are just surface level. Let’s be real; it really isn’t all that bad. I mean from this past year alone, I have started a successful business, have met countless people, made some pretty solid friends, and got to learn some epic skills just by the click of a couple of buttons (and hard work, dedication, and experimentation, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about).
I wanna start this discussion about the benefits of social media by getting a bit personal. Picture it: 23-year-old me, freshly graduated, ready to take on the working world. Then lockdown. Suddenly all my plans for great success in the corporate world of marketing vanished before my eyes, and I was left jobless, schoolless, and stuck in that in-between phase many of us found ourselves in during that horrible year known as 2020. During this time I did a little bit of thinking. Did I really want to work in the corporate world? Was marketing even pandemic-proof? Does whipped coffee actually taste good or am I just trying to fit in? How do I even get my start now that my life is at a standstill? Do you think Amazon considers me their best friend as I do them? What do I do now? The answers I concluded were as follows: no, kinda, not at all, don’t know, definitely not, and who the hell knows.
Out of all my questions, it was the last one that stuck with me the most. What do I do now? I was so desperate for an answer that I even Googled it, and still nothing. No inspiration. It wasn’t until I opened Instagram for the 13th time that morning that it hit me. Social Media Management. I mean, I spent enough time on social media anyway, might as well get paid for it, right? Social media management allowed me to not only find some direction in my life but it also opened up a whole new world where social media isn’t this overly technical ball of toxic energy and cynicism. It was a community. I found like-minded people and made new friends in a time of isolation. Because of social media communication was made even easier. Even though we were stuck in isolation, I never felt alone because I knew that some amazing people were just a click away. I was introduced to social media management group chats, where I was able to learn and was given advice regarding my new business venture. I was able to find my first clients. I was welcomed into a community I never would have known existed had it not been for Instagram.
Sharing information, meeting new people, finding job opportunities and clients, learning something new every day, and having a voice. That is the social media I came to know and love. NOT the toxic wasteland of fake smiles and insincere conversations, but one of genuine conversation, support, and friendship.
Obviously, there are goods and bad’s to social media, and on some days even I still hate it- even after all it’s given me. Despite my job literally being social media, I still make sure to take breaks, go outside, and enjoy life outside of the phone. And when I’m ready to rejoin, I know I’ll be coming back to a world of shared interests, friendly profiles, and an abundance of opportunities.