Social media – love it or loathe it? By Emily Williams, Junior Account Executive

Ah social media, whether you love it or loathe it, it’s virtually impossible to avoid it. How many people can you think of that don’t use at least one form of social media? (That’s not counting your 87 year old granny!)

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram could be classed as ‘The Big Three’, they all have their own merit and their own annoyances. Why is it that before we sit down to a meal at a restaurant we feel compelled to take a photo for Instagram? Why do so many people insist on oversharing personal parts of their life on Facebook?

Social media has become a part of every aspect of our lives. With the rise in popularity of LinkedIn, social media moves past being a solely personal medium, but one for our professional lives too. LinkedIn provides a platform to document our careers online, whether it be finding a job or work experience or a place to network virtually.

In PR, social media is an extremely valuable tool. We often manage the social media accounts for our clients, allowing us to control what kind of message they give off and to ultimately promote their business in a fun, quick way. Social media advertising is also a very effective way to advertise, giving us the ability to reach a large and specific audience.

Social media gives us a unique way to connect, to interact and to share but it can become an obsession. It can become frustrating, particularly for the older generation to see young people engrossed by their smartphones not really experiencing the real world, constantly checking Twitter or uploading a selfie to Instagram.

There is a certain notion of nostalgia when thinking of a time without social media, a simpler time where children played outside in the street and people read books and actually spoke to each other! But it’s easy to look back with rose tinted glasses and ignore the fact that without social media, we wouldn’t have some of the amazing opportunities and insights that we have because of it.

It allows to stay in touch with friends and family on the other side of the earth, to get news from around the world or right on our doorsteps from the original source, before the journalists or biased newspapers get their hands on it and most importantly to watch an endless stream of hilarious cat videos!

With technology developing rapidly, we don’t know what the future may hold for social media. Predictably there’ll be more social media platforms, but who knows… one day we may end up living our entire lives on a virtual reality!
Social media, do you love it or loathe it?