By Patricia May P. Catan
WE GET so easily blinded with the wonders of social media that we disregard its true purpose. Nowadays, a lot of us stay online longer than we are offline, whether it’s for pleasure or work. This fact alone already tells how social media is taking over our lives, and the only way we can take advantage of this is to use social media in the smartest way possible. So, here are five smart uses of social media you can apply to make yourself a productive user.
1. You can start a movement. Social media is a popular tool we must learn to use wisely. Most of the time, people online are very vocal about the advocacies they support, say for example, anti-human trafficking. Posting about our passion for a certain advocacy increases awareness, but in order to get concrete responses, why don’t you start a movement for awareness by making your own hashtag? This way, your posts and other related topics are generated into one hashtag. You can encourage your followers, friends and family to use a hashtag that supports your advocacy to reach a wider audience and, therefore, increase awareness and possibly educate more people.
2. You can use social media as your public portfolio. The digital age is upon us and future employers might look into your social media accounts for basis of hiring. Some lines of work require you to be more active on social media than you already are. Social media allows you to share personal content and it’s best to take advantage of this. You can share whatever you wish, from your social advocacies, work-related stuff to hobbies. Use this platform to curate something that’s mainly about you that you can boast of to boost your current or future career. Think of your online accounts as your public portfolio. It actually helps to filter out what to post and what not to post on sites to give you a respectable online identity.
3. You can explore online businesses. Today, social media doesn’t connect you with friends, family and colleagues alone, it also connects you with potential buyers if you’ve explored the world of online business. Anyone can basically open an online shop using his or her account to sell items. Selling online is faster and more convenient to some because there’s no need to visit the mall and shop. Aside from the basic social media sites, there are official websites and apps too where you can sell preloved clothes and secondhand items for a cheaper price. But Facebook and Instagram are mainly the popular platforms for online shopping and selling since you can just create a page or account, post items that are for sale, and connect with buyers through personal or direct message.
4. You can create an interactive circle for individuals to speak out. Social media has become an outlet for everyone to pour all their worries or just let out some steam. It is now often used as a public diary for many, but in an unhealthy manner. Our social media accounts, despite the privacy settings, are still seen and read by our personal contacts or networks, which is why ranting online isn’t advisable. Sometimes, people even use social media for hinting at a cry of help. There’s a lot going on in the online world that we all must be vigilant about. Take this chance to be a responsible and helpful social media user by reaching out to those who need it most. People often resort to posting on their accounts because they have no one to talk, so let this be your opportunity to try and strike a private conversation online with these people to help them with their struggles. It helps to have someone on social media who listens and initiates an interactive conversation when times get tough.
5. You can be a source of credible news and information. Signing up for social media comes with great responsibility. It’s sad to say that many social media users disregard the importance of sharing and citing credible sources when posting. Anyone can be on social media, but not anyone can provide the news and information we actually need. Don’t waste your time on a trending rumor from a fishy account or site. Instead, get yourself acquainted with credible news sources online and official pages or websites to minimize the spread of false information and dummy accounts. This is highly important because social media is a source of knowledge, too, and responsible users must feed their accounts with the right information. Don’t waste your time online, and, instead, be a trusted source of news and information to help people online acquire the knowledge they need.