In Defence Of Being On Social Media. All Day, Every Day!
The Debrief: Not That You Need Them, But Here’s Some Great Reasons You Should Spend More Time Scrolling Your Twitter Feed
Another day, another survey on the perils of social media. This time the stats say that out of a survey of 30,000 pupils that teens (especially girls) increasingly feel lower self-esteem and spells of self-doubt. Worryingly, it says that a ‘dramatic change occurred after 2007’ according to the Schools Health Education Unit, which, you guessed it, was the same year that Facebook started to rise in popularity and we all started our downward spiral into constant over-sharing.
By 2013, the survey says that self-esteem in girls had fallen by 33%. Back in April, the dark social media news was that women ‘who spent a lot of time on Facebook looking at pictures of friends could make women insecure about their body image’. But could this really be true? That even looking at our own mates is starting to make us sad?
Instead of wallowing in self-pity at the news, we decided we’d celebrate the ways in which social media is bringing positivity to our lives. First of all, one study said that wasting time on the Internet is good for you (we believe in this) because all of that stuff you mindlessly search, read and stare at can actually build up and contribute to intelligent thoughts. Secondly, it’s been said that looking at other people’s profiles on social media can lift your mood. Granted, this study does say that it’s because you can sometimes compare yourself to people worse off than you.
We’re sure there must be ways that social media is improving our lives (apart from the above reasons) seeing as we are spend approximately 160 minutes a day on our phones (aka ALL DAY), so went and found that…
You Can Find A Little Bit Of Joy In Each Day
Although the #100DaysOfHappy hashtag trend made a few people roll their eyes, the premise is actually really nice. It’s also had a really good effect on people’s lives. According to the 100 Days Of Happy website, people who had successfully completed the challenge started noticing that they were ‘in a better mood every day’ and ‘started receiving more compliments from other people’ and started to ‘realise how lucky they are to have the life they have’. Writer Lauren Bravo wrote a piece called Why Instagram Made Me A Better Person for these reasons exactly. She felt that by reflecting back on her beautiful Instagram pictures made her realise that she has had a good week/month/year, it just requires taking the time to sit back and reflect every so often instead of clawing her way to the next perfect Insta-opportunity.
You Can Get A Pretty Cool Job Via Social Media
Having a LOLs Twitter feed really can land you the big bucks. There’s Kelly Oxford who famously turned her comedic Twitter feed into a book deal, all while chilling at home with her baby. There’s vlogging superstar Zoella whose genuine hobby of making videos in her bedroom lead her to landing ger own cosmestic range and radio show. Gem Royston-Claire is a fantastic example of a blogger turned journalist: ‘In December 2011, I received an email from Company saying my blog had been nominated in their first-ever Style Blogger Awards! My first thought was, “OMG!” Followed by, “WTF,” when I realised that I was going to be in the same room as my mag heroines. If there was ever a time to do this networking lark my Uni tutors were always harping on about, this was IT,’ she wrote. Following that blogging awards, Gem was told her ‘hilarious Twitter feed’ had helped win her a job at Company magazine, and has since gone on to join the team at Cosmo.
You Can Fall In Love
Going into internet ‘blackholes’ when you start clicking on different things and end up somewhere completely random, can lead to love. Sometimes. Like Denis LaDargue and Elizabeth Wisdom who met through Instagram. He joined in 2012 and commented on a picture that was geo-tagged at ‘Crater Lake in Oregon’ saying, ‘I miss this place.’ They started chatting and then have now become the the first Instagram wedding! My friend Cate Sevilla at Buzzfeed also met her now-husband on MySpace. ‘I met my husband back in 2005 – we liked the same kind of pizza and I quite liked the look of his face, so we were obviously destined for greatness on those two points alone, ’ she told us. See: proof that any platform can work.
You Can Make Turn URL Friends Into IRL
According to this BBC survey 1 in 3 people meet ‘friends’ online. Twitter can definitely people closer together. You are able to seed out the people who share your same thoughts, beliefs, sense of humour all by following their stream of consciousness, ie their social media newsfeed. A lovely example is this story of ex-PR consultant Laura who made friends with a popular lifestyle blogger Megan who she’d discovered on Twitter, who are now best friends. Online dating definitely stretches to platonic meet-ups, too. Writer Daisy Buchanan says Twitter has had a life-changing impact on her social life. ‘I met my fiancé on Twitter, as well as many of my BFFs and a couple of old housemates. Work, uni and home friends are awesome, but Twitter means you’re constantly connecting with people who want to know the present you. Adults don’t often get to bump into potentially millions of like-minded people in any real-life space, but thanks to Twitter, it’s easier than ever to let your friendship group grow and evolve,’ she says. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve met IRL who started off as just another Twitter followee/follower.
You Can Make Your Opinions Heard
If you look at things like Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project it simply wouldn’t have had the same impact without the hashtag #EverydaySexism to fuse it all together on social media. The @NoMorePage3 Twitter account has amassed 35,000 followers which adds weight to the conversation and helps drive traffic to the campaign. University student Vicky Chandler also made her mark with the anti-Dapper Laughs campaign at Cardiff University using social media to rally the troops. Social media is a great way of leading campaigns, shouting louder and getting more involved in powering online and offline activism.
You Can Contact Your Celeb Heroes Directly
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagam enable you to have a more personal glimpse into celebrities lives. Last year, I wrote a blog post and tweet about my favourite Girls episode which resulted in Lena Dunham following me on Twitter. Fast forward a year later, and many exchanged tweets later, I was able to meet up with her IRL for an informal and friendly chinwag. Proof that social media can definitely be used to socialise with pretty much anyone you think you'd get on well with/doesn’t think you’re an idiot.
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