Even if you don’t use the popular sites, you have heard of them: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the newest kid on the block: Google+. Social media has taken over our lives, in more ways than one! From the way we interact to the way we market our businesses, social media has taken over. Like it or not, if you want to keep up with the times, you’re going to have to get plugged in. Here are ten ways that social media has changed our lives, for the better or worse:
How We Get Our News
The average person signs on to Facebook as soon as they roll out of bed in the morning. Users report that signing on to Facebook happens before they’ve greeted their spouse, kissed their kids or made their morning cup of Joe. Friends and contacts on Facebook are increasingly becoming the trusted sources for news and events occurring in the world.
How We Meet People
People will never stop meeting people in bars, church or parties, but meeting people on social media sites is quickly becoming the preferred option. Why? The answer to that is simple: we immediately know if these people share our likes, dislikes and world views. What can take weeks to find out face-to-face is discovered instantly on social media sites.
How We Stay in Touch
Communicating with people via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is slowly taking over the way we stay in touch. In the same way that email took over snail mail, wall posts and Tweets are taking over email. This instant communication has become the preferred method of contact for the majority of Americans.
Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have changed the way that we start and conduct businesses. With little to no start-up capital, budding entrepreneurs can get a business off of the ground, find employees and market their goods or services to thousands of potential customers.
What We Tell People
In the past, people were wary of revealing their inner thoughts and feelings to the people they know, let alone complete strangers. With the advent of social media, the tide has turned. People are now much more apt to share their opinions on social issues, and that willingness to share spills over into the real world.
The Change We Influence
Social media gives us a voice in the world. One post on Facebook, one tweet on Twitter or one video posted on YouTube can ultimately be shared with millions of people. Our circle of influence has spread from immediate family and friends to the entire world.
How We Learn
Prior to the advent of social media, school lessons were centered around textbooks, newspaper articles and documentaries. Thanks to social media, teachers are able to share far more information with their students than ever before.
How We Save
Forget clipping coupons, savvy shoppers are looking to social media for savings. Look for your favorite food or beverage on Facebook and chances are that you’ll find a fan page. These fan pages often contain links for discounts and printable coupons that can’t be found in your Sunday fliers.
How We Eat
Believe it or not, social media is changing the way we eat. From locating local markets to discovering exotic recipes, users are finding that social media can transform the way they feed themselves and their families. Dieters who use social media for support often have more success than those that attempt to go it alone.
By broadening their horizons, sharing their opinions and expressing their views, people, particularly teenagers, are finding a new sense of self. For the introverted among us, social media allows for a free exchange of opinions and ideas. By interacting in a positive way with people from all over the globe, people are becoming more self-assured and confident.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ have changed the way we live. If you’ve been bucking the trend, it’s time to create an account! Your life may just change for the better.
Victoria Fricke is a freelance blogger for keek.com as well as an avid vlogger. She often recommends Keek to other blogging or vlogging enthusiasts as one of the easiest ways to upload and update videos, even from your phone.