For Gen Y using Social Media for all its purposes is as natural to us as brushing our teeth, it’s just a part of our daily routine. It is something that is ingrained in our lives, it is something that we have come to rely on, whether we like it or not. There are many benefits to Social Media, some aspects that we even take for granted:
- Stalking – this term no longer means staking out people and being weird or creepy but today it is just another aspect of meeting new people. In today’s world a Gen Y is unlikely to meet a stranger without having already tried to find them on Facebook. The concept of strangers does not really exist anymore because it is second nature for us to have a cheeky look at the profile of any new person – be it colleague, university project partner or friend’s new love -before meeting in person. It is typical for a Gen Y to shake hands with someone already knowing their favourite bands, most recent check-in and how many friends they have.
- Communicating – Social Media has become the latest form of communication. Gen Y love Social Media due to the fact that it synchronises all forms of communication. It means that while being on Facebook or Twitterwith our friends we can chat, learn and organise instead of calling by phone or sending a text message.
- Connecting – Social Media allows Gen Y to connect with all types of people; it is the greatest networking tool available to the public. Gen Yer’s expect to have the world at our fingertips and Social Media closes the gap between people and places; distance is no longer barrier. Through Social Media sites regular people can connect with international politicians, celebrities, sports stars, primary school classmates or with people met in our travels.
- Defining – Similar to our love of stalking, our Facebook page or Twitterfeed is how we define ourselves in today’s society. It is how we make our first impression. Although this can be a frustrating aspect of Social Media we love it because we ultimately have control of how we think others view us. Facebook enables to us to have some control over how people might judge us, by controlling you’re ‘likes’, profile pictures, who we ‘follow’ and what we ‘post’.
- Venting – it is widely known that Gen Y cannot keep our opinions to ourselves. We have a need to let the twitter-sphere know our every thought, be it what we want for lunch, how ridiculous Lady Gagalooked recently or the recent evictee of Australia’s Got Talent. We love that Social Media gives us the opportunity to vent our thoughts, especially in the hope that someone will actually listen.
- Discovering – Social Media allows people to learn new things. Through other friend’s interests, website search engines or twitter trends nothing needs to be a mystery. Gen Y are characterised as being very inquisitive people and Social Media means we can – with the click, touch or push of a button – learn the latest and greatest things.
- Procrastinating – as much as we don’t like to admit it, Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand other Social Media sites are the greatest way to procrastinate; deterring us from what we really should be doing. It is a guilty pleasure, a form of escapism, which takes away from reality; this is usually seen as a curse but secretly we love it and, if I can be honest, this post would have been finished much earlier if it wasn’t for Facebook !