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Social Media – Barely Hanging On or Still on the Ascent?

Remember those days when email felt “less personal” than a letter, when online banking couldn’t be trusted, and everyone still had a landline? Yes,  I can barely recall those times myself. But there was a point for each of those mediums, just prior to acceptance, when people were still on the fence, weighing out the pros and cons. Social Media appears to be having its neurotic moment currently.

Nearly everyone has an opinion on it and those are widely varied. People love it, people hate it, people can’t get their arms around it, and some treat it like a national plague. By even having these opinions, the realization that social media is here to stay seems inevitable. Usually, the conversations we have at cSocially are around the impact social media has on business and last week we looked at the frenzy it can stir. However, today we thought it was time to look at the other reasons it has staying power: how social media beyond sales is impacting our lives every day.

Social Media and News

Long gone are the days when you would have to wait for information. We are not just accustomed to getting info more quickly, we rely on it. Though social media won’t replace print or tv broadcast, it is the easiest way to share news. Here’s how this is benefiting users:

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International Information –  Social media has flooded the general public with news on other countries. Now, anyone can get information on Syria, China, and Afghanistan. Were you following along with millions of others as the Arab Spring unfolded with detailed updates on Facebook & Twitter?

Local Updates – Now, locals can get insight from social media for town meetings, zoning updates, and even their neighborhoods. Sites like Nextdoor are connecting neighbors — allowing them to buy, sell, and share news. The Franklin Police Department has tapped into social media to make announcements and even help with leads.

Social Media and Health

  • Outbreaks – Outbreaks of strep throat, flu, and other quickly spreading virus are now reported via social media, making entire communities aware and alert.
  • Providers – Both patients and providers are taking to social media thanks to the amazing speed in which answers can be found. Think organ donor match-up, clinical trial updates, and real time information on patients.
  • Mental health – One recent article pointed out the connection between Facebook posts and the mental health of teens. Social media can be a powerful insight for depression or other mental health concerns.

Social Media and Parents

  • School – Many schools are embracing various forms of social media for updates, needs, volunteer efforts, and events. By keeping parents informed with up to the minute details, schools are getting more and more parents involved.
  • Activities – Any parent with a child involved in an activity has gratefully embraced social media for schedule changes, weather updates and stats. It’s definitely a game changer.
  • Checking In – Kids are the largest users of social media, but parents who want to stay in tune are now getting on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, if only to see what their kids are posting. Sound like spying? Perhaps, but also the only insight sometimes from a tight lipped teen.

Social media enhances our daily lives in so many interesting and intersecting ways. Sometimes it’s creative, even beautiful to see; other times, not so much. Whether we embrace it or not, it impacts everything from dinner reservations to the election of our President, and the impact will only be compounded as forward thinkers drive the next wave of innovation in social media.

How has social media impacted your life? For better or worse?? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment, email us, or start a thread on any of our social profiles.

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