Social media is defined as, “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking” (Dictionary.com). On the whole, I use traditional social media less frequently than others except for use for professional networking purposes and interest-based social media. Because of my unique social media use habits, I find the use of social media to be a mostly positive experience that I don’t wish to change.
I am one of the few people I know that doesn’t spend hours using Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. My older friends are constantly scrolling through their Facebook feeds, while my younger friends scroll through Instagram. I am the odd one out. While I do have a Facebook and an Instagram, I use these solely to track professional achievements and to maintain an established online presence. When people aren’t “Google-able,” I often feel uncomfortable, so I think it is important to maintain an online presence. I often get graphic design commissions because of the presence I maintain. When people need a t-shirt or event poster designed, they often consider their friends and acquaintances first, and that puts me on the top of their list. However, there is a downside to my online presence: I am very easily searchable (due to being the only person on Google with my name), which means I sometimes have to take extra steps to make sure certain people can’t contact me. Overall, though, I have had more positive experiences from putting myself out there than negative ones.
The common perception of social media is that it allows people to create an image of themselves that is highly unrealistic, that people who use it are “less social” because they have indirect interactions with people by “liking” posts instead of having meaningful conversations, and that the experience is mostly negative. While I use the type of social media that fits this description only when I have a new art piece to post or something to add to my resume, I use the app, Amino, on a daily basis. I am involved in a fairly small community focused around an app I enjoy playing. I have found it to be a pretty positive experience on a whole. People regularly post stories based on their characters, hold fashion competitions, and create art for each other. Most of the members are extremely friendly, and I have gained several friends in the process of getting to share my creative side with a supportive group of people. On the other hand, it is so enjoyable that it rather time-consuming, and I often spend all of my free time creating art or writing for the group rather than doing other things, which some may view as negative.
Because I consider my social media use mostly positive, I don’t feel compelled to change my use in any way. However, if I had to change anything about my social media use, I would update my social media accounts more, because I often create designs only to forget about them before posting.
“social media.” Dictionary.com. 2019. https://www.merriam-webster.com (17 April 2019).