Lessons in Social Media

If by any chance you are from the past (like Captain America) or are currently living under a rock, it is imperative that you read this—or you may not be able to survive in this world.

Even if you are surviving the 21st century just fine, it would be great if you read this. Perhaps you’ll pick up a few new viewpoints of your own.

We all know that social media has its obvious benefits like faster communication and easier spread of information, but here are some of the other hidden lessons we can gain from these most popular trends on the World Wide Web.

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Facebook: Secrecy

Remember back in the day when invitations had to be physically hand-written and actually given out in person? It was such a major hassle to send out invites in the mail. Or worse, having to clandestinely give out cards in person, with the risk of someone else getting their feelings hurt because they found out they weren’t invited. Well now with the click of a button, all that awkwardness can be avoided. Facebook’s simple tool to create events gives users the brilliant ability to not just RSVP online, but secretly check out the other guests’ profiles.

Twitter: Filter

Restrictions on the amount of characters per post act as a natural filter. People are learning how to be more careful with their diction and concise with their thoughts. But then again there’s always that one person who decides to post their every thought, sub-thought, preoccupation…because they have an inaccurate notion that everyone cares about what they’re doing every second of the day.

Snapchat: Test of friendship

In our hyper digital world, where everywhere with an iPhone camera and cool editing app claims to be a photographer, this is the only time you don’t have to look cute for the camera or impress an audience. Snapchat is really a test of trust because true friends can count on each other to receive the most unflattering pictures of one another and face no repercussions.

 Instagram: Virtually “share” food

Unlike Snapchat, where goofy faces are valued, Instagram is a more serious test of photography skills. This app has taught people to be more open with their pictures, which for most means simply sharing their Starbucks orders—this is really helpful for those moments when I desperately need to know whether my friend ordered an extra-whip mocha frappuccino or a non-fat chai latte.

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Joke aside, social media has the ability to really affect people. It’s interesting, yet also a little scary, to think that one favorite, re-tweet, like, or share has the power of making you feel a little more important, funny, or even confident. Behind that digital screen, there are real emotions being toyed with.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that we are constantly becoming less-social despite the emphasis on social media. Tweets can be deleted; chat settings can be set to “invisible”; the backspace key can be hit to eliminate unnecessary thoughts. But what about in real life? We can’t always take back something that we said or avoid people with whom we don’t wish to speak.

The advancement of technology has been so beneficial, but maybe we aren’t always correct to assume that people from the past missed out because of their lack of social media. Perhaps life was just as good then as we think it is now?

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