BY MACKENZIE LEVEQUE | STAFF WRITER
In the age of selfies and Kim Kardashian, it is no secret that social media is often under fire for its negative and sometimes narcissistic effects on our culture. Critics cite antisocial behavior and a disconnect from reality as reasons that social media is #bad. However, as someone who is active on most social media sites (@kenzieleveque, follow me up) and a social media marketing intern, I would like to humbly submit an opposing opinion that social media is simply like most things in life: good in moderation.
One reason that social media is good is as a method to provide connectedness with others. Of course, when I say this I am not advocating that you replace real life interactions with Twitter Direct Messages. But social media can help you keep up to date with the lives of friends and family that you might not get to see on a daily, or even yearly, basis. A Facebook photo lets your grandma in Colorado see that you passed your driver’s license or got in a relationship. It lets your friends write on your wall for your birthday and it allows you to see pictures of your cousin’s baby. These are things that you might not be able to do without the help of social media.
Social media is also extremely important for businesses. It is a way for companies to reach consumers in a way that is direct and personal. Social media allows companies to create a brand personality and image that can better relate to consumers. Inversely, social media allows consumers to comment and thus directly communicate with companies to have answered. This innovation has created the closest relationship between company and consumer in history.
Finally, social media is a great tool for self expression. Social media allows you to present yourself in the way in which you would like to be presented. On Instagram, for example, users can share the moments from their life that make them proud or a picture that they like. They can use sites like Pintrest to gather thoughts and ideas that they find inspiring or interesting. They can go on Reddit to have conversations with fascinating people that they might not have an opportunity to meet in real life.
Social media is an amazing innovation that can be used for good if used correctly. Just because something is good in theory does not mean that everyone will use it as such. Chocolate chip cookies are good,but eating 600 of them is not. Just like chocolate chip cookies, social media should be used in moderation. It should not be a way to replace human relationships; instead, it should be a way to enhance them. And if you don’t agree with me, go post on Facebook about it.
Mackenzie Leveque is a junior Journalism major interning for a social media marketing company called MKTG.