Social media is the connecting link for us in this era. Prior to these modern inventions, the most common way to communicate was either in person or by mail. People would have travel for quite the distance to see a friend or a relative to check up on how they are doing. When the phone was invented, life became easier. Without having to travel to listen to someone, people could simply call and talk to them. However, there is this element of “being able to see the person” missing. It was not until social media that we can visually communicate more effectively and efficiently.
Because the ability social media has perpetuated the methods of communication, it is important for us. Moreover, social media consist almost an element of art. People now are able to share ideas and express their creativity through social media. Think of all the Pinterest, Instagram and always trying to buy active Instagram followers to impress their audience. However, Tumblr (just to name a few) posts that comprise the element of creativity in it.
People created artworks, painting, sculptures, projects, etc. and displayed them via social media to share with not only people they are connected to but with everyone. As a result, creativity can flow from one person to another. People can inspire others with their talents through social media. Hence, it is another reason why social media is important to our life.
In addition to communication and creativity expression, social media is also a place to express oneself and make friends. Think of all the YouTube videos that started out either as a comedy sketch, DIY tutorial, etc., that then created a whole network of supporters. A few days ago I was looking through a series of video from a YouTuber I follow. She does DIY videos on various things, ranging from makeup to home decors.
One of the videos she shared was her coming out. In her video, she explained that it was through YouTube and social media that she was able to make friends and have supporters who gave her enough courage to finally come out. It was through social media that she could express herself as who she is and what she wants to be.
Expression is one thing that we could do on social media. Sometimes in real life, we cannot express what we want to simply because it is not the right time, we do not feel comfortable enough to express it, we do not feel that our expression would be heard, or something else we feel that could prevent us from doing so at the moment. However, social media allow us to express ourselves in a way that we would not be able to do so in real life, sometimes.
As mention earlier, the YouTuber’s who came out said that she was grateful that she came out that way. It was comfortable for her. Through social media, we could express more of our thought sometimes. Social media gives us this leeway to escape from this harsh reality sometimes.
Because social media provides a way for people to escape sometime, it has become an important substance to the people this day. Sometimes, in reality, there are harsh and stressful situations that we just want to escape. It is something we eventually will have to deal with but facing it constantly without some sort of relieve is overbearing. Though sometime, social media could have the opposite effect of creating more stress, most of the time though, it offers us a leeway to escape from reality.
We could look at funny cat videos on Facebook that someone has posted or go through someone’s feed of inspirational quotes to uplift us. Sometimes, looking through these feeds helps us momentarily but it could also have a long-lasting effect. Either way, social media could help us escape from the harsh reality even if it is temporary.
Sharing laughter is something that social media also has to offer. There are so many moments in our lives that give us this moment of laughter. And because we feel happy from that moment, we want to share it with others so they could feel happy. Through social media, we are able to do so. Sometimes it might be a quote that could inspire and uplift others. Other times it could be a video or funny picture that can make others laugh, whether or not if they had a good day or not. So sometimes, when we post something that makes us happy, that very post might do the same for others.
In an abstract way, social media can also be a place where people can serve others. When we think of service, we might think that we to either go to a homeless shelter, a food bank, a free clinic, a hospital, or someplace to perform service towards others. However, sometimes, the Internet could be the very place where we can serve. For instance, raising awareness about something is an act of service. Helping with fundraising for a patient who needs that help via social media is also an act of service.
Though these acts of service might not seem that impactful at first glance, at the very end it could have more impact than we think. For instance, we could raise enough money to save a child from cancer via a Facebook post than from selling cookies from door to door to raise the same amount of money. There will be more people who know about this opportunity to serve through social media and the word like this could spread more rapidly.
Social media has connected people together from various places. Whether if it is communicating, sharing our creativity to inspire others, making friends, building connection, giving us a place for personal expression, offering us a place of refuge from reality, sharing laughter with others, or giving us an opportunity to serve, social media has had a big impact on our society today. It is important because of all the things we have done and can do via social media.