Social Media is everywhere. Not being connected via social media is the exception, not the rule. While there are many debates, complaints, and legitimate downsides to being connected 24/7, there are also a lot of advantages that some of us take for granted or may not even be aware of. To help us appreciate having the world just a friend request away, here are 25 Advantages of Social Media That Are Good To Keep In Mind. Be sure to like and share!
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It can aid in criminal investigations.
Because yes, people post about selling illegal drugs or driving drunk on social media. Frequently. Criminal cases such as rape have even been overturned – such as when Brian Banks was wrongly accused of rape, labeled a sex offender, had his life ruined, and five years later his accuser wanted to “let bygones be bygones” and contacted him on FB. He got her to admit he never raped her and his named was finally cleared in 2016
It keeps us informed about the world.
Even people who don’t care to read news websites or watch news on tv, or listen on the radio, find out about current major events via friends and family on social media. How reliable that information always is…is another question…
Shy people (or those with anxiety or things like Asperger's syndrome) have an outlet to connect with people, speak their mind, and share their talents with the world.
It’s a powerful outlet.
It exposes us to different points of view, new ideas, and gives the power to research those opinions and discuss them with others.
If someone puts an idea in front of you that you’ve never considered, you can look up the data for yourself, read about both sides of an issue, and have your mind opened to new and shiny points of view.
It keeps us in touch with friends and family who are far away.
Just because Nana lives in a different state or on a different continent doesn’t mean she can’t see what her grandchildren are up to on a daily basis, and share with her friends. For family members of small children, this is really valuable, as things like Skype and facetime can turn Grandma and Grampa from people they see once or twice a year, to important and recognized parts of their little lives.
If you have a business, particularly a small local or internet based business, Social Media is an incredible tool to reach your customers.
You can get feedback right away, have last minute sales or specials on slow days, or just build a relationship that makes them more likely to use your services.
It helps us find stuff we need and get rid of stuff we don't.
There are many buy/sell/swap groups for everything you can imagine on social media. Beyond that, we can post items we no longer need for sale or to give away. It’s the beauty of a yard sale, without lugging your crap outside.
Helps us connect with people who are into the same weird stuff we are, and expand our skill set.
So if you’re learning to cook, there’s about a billion other people out there who would love to talk to you about it, and help you get better at it. Ravelry.com, for example, is a networking site “for anyone interested in knitting, crocheting, spinning or weaving” Or stachepassions.com/ which is for singles who are looking to date or people who are just really passionate about facial hair.
In 2015 a woman vacationing in Greece fell 30 feet off a cliff, and landed on a ledge.
She had broken 20 bones including her pelvis, collar bone, and several vertebrae. After a few hours rescuers could not find her, she made her facebook account public, took a picture of where she was, and in less than an hour a diving instructor recognized where she was and rescue teams found her. She would have died otherwise. Facebook literally saved her life.
Information spreads really quickly.
Things like severe weather information, major news events, missing persons, who Taylor Swift is dating this week, etc, spreads throughout the world in moments.
Social Media helps fund charities and fill specific needs of individuals.
Sites like gofundme, shared through social media, have raised millions of dollars for families and individuals in need. That’s pretty amazing.
Reviews on social media are invaluable.
If you’ve saved your pennies to go to the hot new restaurant in town, only to read that it’s got 2.5 stars on social media, you might save yourself from a disappointing evening.
Much like the aforementioned charities, Social Media allows small businesses to get off the ground, or new products to be made without creators having to resort to a typical loan, via crowdfunding.
Most people find out about this stuff via sharing on social media. Kickstarter and indiegogo have campaigns for anything you can think of – from opening local coffee shops to new 3D printers, to having your favorite lame ska band reunite and make a new album. If you’re into it, you can fund it, directly.
It provides amazing market research for larger companies.
While Social Media can be life and death for small businesses as far as exposure, for small and large businesses it’s literally a small window into their consumer’s world. Ads can be personalized using cookies, real time feedback or excitement on a new product can be measured. This kind of information used to take hours or weeks to obtain from sample groups, but customers just willingly put it out there now.
You can get to know someone and vet them before you meet them in person.
Be it a blind date, the person you’re going to interview with tomorrow, or the leader of a local mommy meetup group you’re considering participating in, you can look at their pages, see what they’re into, and if there’s any deal breakers.
It lets us share our creations - music, art, self published books on ereaders - with the world, quickly and usually for free.
Justin Beiber was discovered via youtube videos, and now he’s…you know… the Beibs.
In that same vein, Social Media allows us to support artists making music and videos via Patreon and sharing.
Social Media can truly fund someone’s passion and turn it into a career. Instead of having to convince a publishing company, studio or record company you’re worth a five million dollar investment, social media allows artists to convinces a million people they’re worth a $5 investment, and keep creative control for themselves.
Social Media is great for the consumer, as well as the company.
Everything from surveys on networking pages to special coupons and offers. Small local companies and major national retailers do well by their customers who “like & share” them.
Introduces us to new things.
Weird obscure niche hobbies, social ideas, religions or lack thereof, and helps us find community based around those things. You may not be into debating Japanese vs Chinese vs American style Bonsai trees, but some people are, and social media helps connect them.
Increase your knowledge on a college level or higher.
Websites like khanacademy.org connect you with the course work and let you go at your own pace, sometimes for free. And then you can connect with other students. If you can’t afford college, but really really want to learn, the internet is here to help.
Win Fabulous Prizes!
But seriously, all kinds of companies do social media specific giveaways, from small companies that offer beautiful handmade items to gift cards, to makeup kits, vacations, and heck, even houses.
Dating is now somewhat simplified.
With all the various dating networks online, you can find someone looking for a casual connection, a uh, physical connection, or a long term commitment. Furthermore, you can search specifically for people into your own hobbies, religion, or on your level of professional career achievements.
Social media has made casual gaming cool again.
You may not play Call of the Halo #17, or World of the Old Republic, but you can still play online games with your friends and they aren’t that time consuming or serious. They’re called Social Network Games, and they’ve evolved far beyond farming.
It keeps our minds occupied.
While there’s definitely a debate to be had over how much time should be spent on social media and if it qualifies as an addiction, sometimes it’s nice just to vent to the world about how awful the DMV is, and then get in a conversation with friends or strangers for the few hours you may be stuck there.
Social Media can help you achieve your goals and offer support.
If your goal is to be healthier, joining a group with the same goal and making long distance friends to help keep you accountable can go a long way towards making those goals a reality. Encouragement and support are really important and Social Media can help with that. Help a lot.