Social media has been existing for quite some time now. It is very much different from the old school media that a lot of us have known before this “social media” existed. The media that we are familiar with, which is also known as industrial media, traditional media, broadcast media, or mass media, still continues to exist along with this new media. Newspapers, television, and film are still used to keep the community informed of the world around us. But along with this, using social media is very much important as this has also a lot more benefits than the traditional ones.
Well, what is social media? In my own understanding, social media is a means of communication using highly accessible technologies typically done through the internet and mobile communications. This can take different forms including blogs, vlogs, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, picture-sharing, and video-sharing. YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and MySpace are some examples of the most popular social media being used. In the Philippines, where I grew up before coming to Canada, the most popular social media being used there are Friendster and Multiply.
Social networking isn’t the only purpose of using social media. With this, you can find out the information you need to know through more accessible means. Businesses also use them for marketing or for customer relationship management. If you have information that you want to get out to a broader audience, social media is definitely one way that can help you on that.
Let’s focus on the blog for example. With a blog, not only are you able to use text to get your message out, you can also use images, audio, and video. You can also make it interactive with the addition of an online forum or through a chat room on your blog or website. With a regular printed newspaper, can you do all of that? No. But with an online newspaper, you sure can.
Personally, I use social media to connect with my friends, to keep updated about their lives (since we can no longer do that in person since we’re in different continents), to complement my job search, and of course to learn more things everyday. There are just so many more ways that social media is useful to the world today. I’m simply thankful that such a thing exists.