Is social media turning us into a horde of mindless beings, hunched over our mobile phones in restaurants? Or is it connecting us to the world in ways we never thought possible? Here at Crowd, we spend a lot of time understanding social platforms and looking at the world through digital lenses. Naturally, we thought we’d debunk some of the popular social media myths currently doing the rounds.
Myth 1: Social media makes us antisocial
It’s never ideal when you are out for a meal and you can’t tear your eyes off YouTube. Or go five minutes without checking if you’ve got more likes on your latest Instagram post. But let’s face it: social media is allowing us to do things and connect with people in ways we didn’t know were possible until 10 years ago. We’ve got work, communication and entertainment at our fingertips. Social media’s not the problem here – it’s all about balance.
Myth 2: Social media makes us stupid
Social media makes us artists. From writing to video direction, social channels have changed the way we capture moments. Look at our writing: it’s tight and focused. Even with the now-redundant 140 character limit, we know how to convey messages eloquently and concisely. Instagram teaches us about lighting and filter use every day. Facebook and LinkedIn deliver the basic teachings of building a personal brand.
Myth 3: Social media filters our real-life
We have the freedom to expose ourselves to everything. It’s true that by following our interests and views, there is a danger that we miss out on anything that opposes our way of thinking. In these turbulent times it’s virtually impossible to not be exposed to opposing views, whether you’re friends are commenting on political debates or the President of the United States is retweeting far right fake news. Since the divisions in society have become apparent since Brexit and Trump’s election win, the bubbles have been burst and people are now navigating the chaos.
Myth 4: Social media is a time waster
Well, maybe this one isn’t always a myth! But mostly, we prefer to see social media as an investment for anyone who is serious about marketing their business in this day and age. Using tools like influencer marketing and e-commerce, even the smallest companies can promote themselves and their brand to markets that traditional business models just don’t reach. Even our personal social media activities are nowadays largely about building a network and a personal brand. And we’ll just write those occasional YouTube binges off to research, shall we…
Myth 5: Social media separates us
In a world where we are encouraged to explore and cross borders, families and friends often no longer live in the same country, let alone the same time zone. Having limited access to time and funds for constant travel, we start appreciating the role that apps like Skype and Instagram play in our lives. Sometimes, a quick Instagram Story update, or a Skype call to the pets back home, is all we need to stay in touch. If anything, social media brings us together.
The bottom line? Social media is what you make it – and in our world, it’s an enabler – creating opportunities to grow professionally and personally. So go on, share and engage in the collective joys of our recorded moments. Just remember to look up from your phone every now and again.