We all know the negatives of living in our social media universe. The blue light hinders our eyesight. The constant dump of negativity mixed with highlight reels leaves us angry, bitter, and trapped in comparison. On the off chance that you do meet up with your friends in person, it is likely that they will spend a few moments (or possibly much of the time) on their phones. We can get sucked into the constant scroll of pictures and pins, and before we know it, hours have gone by. The sour parts of social media are real, but there are positive attributes amid the unattractive!
1. Keeping up with family and old friends.
I don’t know about you, but this is the main reason I love social media. My family lives all over the U.S. and, at times, around the globe. With spouses, kids, and jobs, it is hard to keep in touch, but with social media, I can see what my family is up to. It will never replace spending time with them, but I am thankful for the chance to keep up with their daily lives and be in conversation with them. Over the years, I have made many friends; social media gives me the opportunity to stay in touch with those who have moved far away. Through online messaging and comments, I get to interact with people regularly that I would otherwise lose contact with because of the distance that separates us.
Social media is a great place to meet new people in your field. It’s also an excellent place to meet others who share your passion or stage of life—maybe even some who live in your area. Many schools, groups, churches, and organizations are using social media to connect with members of their community. Social media isn’t just an observation deck; it is a place for us to interact and make connections to take into the real world. I am part of a couple of writing groups, both locally and nationally, and I stay updated on the organizations I am passionate about through social media. I’m connected to women, other writers, and people who are passionate about social justice that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Search for your passion and get connected!
The sour parts of social media are real, but there are positive attributes amid the unattractive!
3. You can turn it off.
One of the most significant benefits to social media is that you can put your phone down or delete the apps from your phone. You can step back! You are in control when it comes to social media. What you post, who you add as friends, who you accept as friends, who you follow, how you use it, and how much time you spend on it is all up to you. You get to decide. Social media doesn’t have to run or ruin your day, and honestly, it should never have that kind of power over you.
I don’t know about you, but I could use some encouragement and a push towards what I’m made for, instead of the lies that spin in my mind. The world is loud and social media can be loud too, but I have chosen to follow and friend people who inspire me and encourage me to keep moving forward in my life. Social media is a place we can encourage others. Whatever you have to give, there is a place for you to share it and pass on the inspiration to those around you. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing something that lifted you up today. It does make a difference.
5. When we can’t be there in person, we can be there virtually.
Through social media, we can take classes, attend conferences, and even be connected to events we cannot make (or events that would typically cost more money than we have to spend). I have attended conferences from the comfort of my home, and I have been able to watch the wedding of dear friends through live streams on Facebook. It stinks to miss the in-person experience, but through social media and online tools, we don’t have to miss amazing opportunities and life events.
Social media is a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. There is nothing perfect about social media, just like there is nothing perfect about the world we live in. Social media is messy. But if we remember that we get to decide how to use and live in our online world—even in the mess—there are some real benefits and advantages to being online.
You decide, friend. Is social media worth it to be connected, find new opportunities, and encourage the world around you? If it’s not, take a break. But if social media is worth it, dive in. The choice is always in our hands, and that’s what makes social media a beautiful part of our world.
Looking to join the conversation on social media? Check out:
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5 Things You Need to Know to Stay Safe on Social Media
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