my first experience of social media was the newsround chat room when i was 10. i used to love going on there under my alias sLuSh*PuPpY*tO*dIe*FoR (not sure either), and discussing films ('omgz can't WAIT for the new harry potter!)...music ('is anyone else's mum not letting them get the new avril album because it says parental advisory?')...and other important issues. i remember even then thinking that this was SO cool, that i could chat to people all over the country. ofc, i was plagued by the scary chatroom stories. but news round was harmless.
this was my first taste of social media.
i then progressed onto msn, where my email address was billies_converse_kicking_babe (after billie joe from green day), and i learnt how 2 tlk lyk dis lol and also the pure excitement of the drama of an msn argument. i then got a myspace, and my obsession with social media really kicked off. i spent all my evenings on it, sending out bulletin quizzes, learning my first html, and loving life when i realised the code to read peoples comments even when they were hidden.
this now all seems a little pre-historic.
we now live in a world where making videos about lipgloss pays you bigger bucks than most jobs. where there's a new platform everyday, providing more instant content 24 hours a day. the world has changed from the awkward chatroom days, into a world of social progression and instant conversation.
and we are the generation that has it at the palm of our hand.
we are incredibly lucky to be the voice of social media. i am 22 years old, and my whole career is shaped by the ever changing sphere that surrounds this market. i instantly understand whole new platforms that may take others (ie. my mum, sorry mum) months to master. by the clicks of a few buttons, i've worked out a brand new app. my mind is programmed to understand this new technology. because it is all programmed by conversation, an art that we have learned to master in a new form. conversation has advanced beyond telephone calls and face to face, we can now call people across the world and see them on FaceTime. social media has been the saviour of friendships, relationships and more due to its instant factor. the early days of msn have allowed my mind to understand the web better than any generation before me (sans bill gates...), and as it grows - i grow too.
it has been said that generation y are a lost cause. that social media is a hindrance to us, that we will never understand REAL conversation as we are so tuned into a world that, in essence, isn't real. we are addicted to the now, to getting our information fast and forgetting it even faster. we are easily pleased, but we are easily disgusted - turning on someone faster than you can say hashtag. we use our freedom of speech to tweet what we love, what we hate...sometimes, taking it too far. people say that social media will never allow us to be happy, as we are always looking for the next best thing - never settling for what we think is good enough, as in this life, nothing is good enough. as we are so aware of people who have more. more likes, more favourites, more free stuff, more money - we are exposed to it all.
to an extent, this is true. social media is not always the inventive, inspiring place i like to see it. it can be dark. the trolls that wait around the corner, jumping on tragedies and chuckling at others can make it horrific. the people who manipulate and lure vulnerable teens into awful situations. i even sometimes hate the INSTANT-ness of it, as i will always know something before someone else - even if i don't want to. which can sometimes stunt conversation as someone tries to converse with you about a trend you saw 4 hours ago. it's old news, and this creates issues.
some people just don't get it. i'm asked what i do for my job, and sometimes i find it difficult to articulate. i'm met with 'so you just sit on Twitter all day?' and effectively, yes... i do. but i also monitor trends, hijack ideas for clients, research influencers, analyse campaigns, come to grips with analytics far beyond my GCSE maths skills... it's not just as simple as refreshing your twitter.
to me, it's a playground. forgetting firstly that it's my job, i feel that social media has created amazing opportunities for so many people. the viral factor that has raised so much money for charity, awareness of important issues, and shown solidarity in times of strife. the freedom of speech, allowing you to clear your name against others, and articulate how you feel. the spotlight you get in 140 characters, or a photo upload... it has been the reason people like justin bieber, zoella etc are who they are today. the reach is incredible, and to think that one person half way across the world loves your blog, or favourited your tweet... can be mind blowing.
social media is a skill that we can put on a CV and genuinely be considered for a job. when you look deeper, there's an art to success. it's not just pot luck, there are algorithms, theories, and codes that create this massive web of speech. it's always expanding, it's such a new subject that we don't even KNOW what's next. which is exciting. and i love it.
social media is a world of twists and turns, and we have no idea what's next. whether it's a new platform that will finally outdo Facebook, or what the trends will even be in 20 minutes. you're always learning, and i love being a part of the social media generation.
until next time xo