For a lot of people, social media is either seen as a gift or a curse. Other people view it as both or just try to ignore it. But whatever way you look at it, social media is important. It is how an entire generation is communicating, it is how movements are started and spread, and it is how the smallest of things can get the biggest followings. Ideas are spread like wildfire with the simple click of a button. People and causes that would otherwise just be known to one or two people now get thousands and even millions of people supporting them. Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay (at least for this generation). But why is it important?
Here are the top reasons:
- It connects us to each other. It connects us to people we know in real life, and it connects us with content creators of all sorts. Social media is now the life blood of society (and not just the young ‘kids’ out there). Young and old, rich and poor, people are on social media and we as writers, bloggers, content creators of all kinds, need to understand that.
- It shows the true light of your business. It used to be word-of-mouth could be the best or worst thing to happen to your product or business. With social media, that word-of-mouth spreads even faster among even more people. So customer service and how you act online is scrutinized even more and can affect your business in more ways than before.
- It spreads information faster than ever before, both true and false. Including about you, your business, your writing work and even you as a person. Gossip is a big problem, but true information also gets shared around just as quickly, so having supporters works to your advantage when the ‘trolls’ come out.
- It’s a popular form of entertainment. While watching TV is slowly decreasing as a regular form of amusement for people, people love to spend hours a day scrolling through social media, chatting with friends, watching videos that are posted, and sharing their own thoughts. It’s a new form of entertainment that people already spend a lot of their day doing. It’s optimal as a continuous source of entertainment because of its mobile-based nature, meaning they can find amusement wherever they are.
- It can be taken anywhere. With the advent of smartphones, social media was not only brought along with it, but entire social networks were born as apps on said phones (Instagram and Periscope being prime examples). More and more people have smartphones, so more and more people have easy access to any social media of their choice, anywhere and at any time.
As with all things, it has its good points and bad points. But no matter how you view it, social media is an important part of daily life today. As writers, we need to give social media some consideration when we write, when we create and when we engage. Social media will change and rearrange, but it seems to be something that will stick around for the long haul. That’s why we need to remember why social media is important, good, bad or otherwise.