The evolution of social media is one of the fastest growing phenomenons of this generation. From sending text messages to liking, posting and sharing events on more advanced sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In recent years, the online world has been portrayed as toxic environment responsible for a global wave of depression, for crippling relationships and its negative effects on sleep. However, social media is not all bad news. There is so much more to the online world than the endless parade of Instagram-induced anxiety and insecurity.
Social media is an accessible, cost-efficient tool that assists millions of people in their day-to-day lives. Many people contend that social media is a platform which provides active participants with the opportunity to connect with others, greater access to scholarship and career opportunities and to be informed about current issues and other important events in the political world. The writer of this essay, Alia Ah Far, did not pay attention to the power of social media until she realized how much Iphones and online social accounts have become a part of our daily lives and how they influence the way we live.
Social media played a significant role in the writer’s quest to to find sport and university scholarships overseas as this process involved utilizing the internet and social media sites to search, locate and communicate universities and rugby coaches directly. The writer utilized social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail to remain in contact with a US college Rugby coach at Lindenwood University who eventually provided her with an Academic and Rugby Scholarship offer.
If social media did not exist, the writer would not have the scholarship opportunity she has today. Social media is powerful source of information that can be used for good. It important for people to understand the benefits of the online world and make the most of it. Social networking sites allow people to communicate and stay in contact with friends as well as meet new people from all around the world. For example, Facebook is a social networking site where people can post about their interests and hobbies and create relationships with like-minded people.
In addition, friendship group chats can be formed to interact with people with similar interests and views. Social networking sites allows users to creatively express who they are by utilizing tools such as blogging and messaging to post ideas and stories. In many cases, social media users also tend to share poems, interest in music, Television shows, hobbies, photos, and many other things (Jasson). Social media improves communication and strengthens human connection. In a recent study, Teen social media users report that social media makes them feel better connected to their friends’ feelings. In fact, more than eight-in-ten (83%) social media-using teens say social media makes them more connected to information about what is happening in their friends’ lives and 70% say these social platforms better connect them to their friends’ feelings (Pew Research Center).
Social media makes it possible for everyone to find and communication with others who share the same interests and concerns regardless of culture, status or where they lives. It is open to the world. There are no limits when it comes to social media. The internet has completely transformed the music industry. Musicians back in the seventies or eighties would not have been able to comprehend the luxury and efficiency of promoting music online. However, for musicians in the twenty-first century the culture and expectations have changed – especially when it comes to the way artists and bands promote and distribute their music. In today’s society, internet and social media sites are significant channels for the music industry. Whether they are dealing with music blogs, album reviews, downloadable files, artist interviews, promotional giveaways, festival submissions, or other aspects of the industry, the internet is important means for musicians to share and promote their music, interact with fans and build a fan base. According to a recent study, 64% of teenagers listen to music on YouTube, making it the ‘hit-maker’ for songs rather than radio (56%).
The National Endowment for the Arts found that people who interact with the arts online through social media and other means are almost three times more likely to attend a live event(procons.org). Musicians use social media sites like YouTube to promote their music and build success from the ground-up. For example, modern day artists like Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Jhene Aiko, Chance the rapper, etc, started their music careers by sharing their music and building their fan base on YouTube. Pop artist, Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube by he was just 12 years old. After talent manager, Scooter Braun discovered bieber’s Youtube song covers which eventually lead to bieber signing to his first record label – Def Jam Records. Now, Justin Bieber makes a net worth of 200 billion dollars. YouTube has millions possibly billions of users worldwide. The popularity of YouTube is closely intertwined with the opportunity to publish videos both as documentary and featured ones. In such a way, users from all around the world have the opportunity to share their videos instantly.
The most distinct feature of YouTube is its quality and performability. The greater the quality of the video, the more popular the video will become and the more subscribers the youtubers will attract. Even though, YouTube’s main focus is to share all types of videos it also creates new opportunities for users to share their creative ideas through vlogs and other creative platforms that can lead to profit. Youtubers are be driven by different reasons for publishing their videos and sharing information with others. Most youtubers post videos about anything that will attract views and subscribers from videos about food, reality and entertainment. Another benefit associated with social media is the way it allows people to be offered overseas sporting and college scholarships. Social media plays an important role in the sporting and university recruitment processes. In fact, today approximately 96.6% of four-year institutions use Facebook to recruit students, 83.4% use Twitter, and 79.3% use YouTube(Procon.org) . If the writer of this essay did not have access to the internet or social media sites like Google, Facebook and Gmail she would not have the Rugby scholarship she has today.
The Sporting and Academic Recruitment Agency she signed up with, produced a Youtube highlight reel and Online Rugby profile to promote the writer to USA College Rugby coaches. When the Lindenwood University Rugby Coach stumbled upon the writer online, he emailed the writer presenting a 4-year scholarship offer to study and play rugby at Lindenwood University. If social media did not exist, the writer would not have been exposed to this great opportunity. She would not be aware of the possibility of studying and playing for a American University one day. Social media is a tool or channel for marketing and aids in helping brands build their visibility and online to attract people. The use of social media is important necessity in the business and marketing world. Social networks are not about businesses connecting with their customers, but more about customers connecting with businesses. In fact, 73.4% of users will follow a brand because of their interest in a product or service(Business2community.com). For example, Wayfair is a online retail business that is known to sell affordable furniture and home goods. In recent years, the business has targeted customers providing direct access to page through Instagram and Facebook. The Warfair social media pages on instagram and facebook have an updated method that tags specific products within a picture so that users can click on the product and purchase it directly from the Wayfair online shopping page. Today it is easier than ever to start and launch a business due to social networking sites.
Businesses can locate potential employees through interest focused groups and quick searches through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social networks can provide under-developed businesses with a platform to share, interact and promote their products and services. Social media can essentially increase a business’s channels to distribute and syndicate their content in the easiest, most cost-efficient way. This means they have the opportunity to not only share their information but also for it to be shared by their online followers too. Even if a business does not go viral by having a social media account it will still make it much easier for people to search and learn about what the business has to offer. Essentially, the information that is provided can create a topic of conversation for people to talk about which can also help promote a business without people realizing it. It only takes one customer to like, tag another friend or share a business’s post or social media page for that business to gain one step ahead in the marketing world. When an online user shares the business’s information a whole new group of people are likely to stumble upon the business name while scrolling through their news feed. The business becomes more accessible and easier to find which means the business is more likely to gain popularity and generate money.
Another powerful aspect of social media is that it gives social movements a quick, no-cost process to spread information, and inform people on important political events. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, used social media to initiate a gun control movement to protest against gun violence after a deadly shooting had occurred at the school. Student activists utilized Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote nationwide protests on Mar. 24, 2018 that drew over one million participants and registered thousands of new voters. Also, in 2015, the Black Lives Matter campaign was initiated through social media by highlighting acts of racism and police brutality shown in the United States and successfully pressuring the 2016 presidential candidates to address the issue. Social media has been used to promote feminism, racial protests, etc, with many celebrities using Instagram and Facebook to bring attention to these issues. Successfully, social media has brought attention to current issues and important events in the political world and also increased voter participation. Facebook users reported they are more likely to vote if they discover posts from their Facebook friends that they have voted. Among students who are unlikely to vote, 35% stated that social media was more likely to influence them to vote in the presidential election. During the 2012 presidential election, 22% of registered voters posted about how they voted on Facebook or Twitter, 30% were encouraged to vote by posts on social media, and 20% encouraged others to vote via social networking sites. (Procons.org)
This recent study is an indication that political messages and advertisement on social media can effectively engage more and more people in the political world and also influence greater voter participation. There are many positive effects and outcomes associated with social media use. It is important that people are able to understand the benefits of utilizing these online sources and they are able to take full advantage of these tools to assist in their everyday lives. In many ways, social media has brought people together through the online world, helped create political change, increased voter participation and also provided many opportunities that people would never have thought could become a reality.