We all use social media sites to creep on the cute guy in class or the girl who helped us at Starbucks. However, social media is much more important to our generation than we all have been making it.
Social media has become an invaluable way to communicate and gather information from anywhere at an extremely rapid rate. It has become not only an outlet to share news, but a way to express opinions and beliefs at the click of a button.
Kelsey Schnell, Ferris alumnus and marketing and public relations officer for Mackinac State Historic Parks, thinks social media sites are extremely important for multiple reasons.
“Social media is about communication and information. We have been communicating, bettering and distributing information since we knew how,” Schnell said. “Before this, it was newspapers, radio and television. Social media would be sort of this next evolution in communication and information distribution.”
Because social media sites allow users to share information at often just a touch of a button, many college students are spending a lot more time tweeting, blogging and posting information multiple times a day.
According to Mediabistro.com, 62 percent of adults worldwide now use social media. With that, social media is the most popular online activity with 22 percent of time online spent on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Devyn Podsiadlik, Ferris senior in molecular diagnostics, spends her time on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. However, she admits to having a favorite.
“I really like Pinterest. I go on mainly to look for interesting crafts or ideas that are easy to do,” she said. “Also a big thing I look for is recipes. But honestly, you could find anything on the site; it’s almost endless.”
Although there are many students like Podsiadlik who use social media platforms to find new ideas and communicate with peers, there are other reasons social media is often used.
“I know that a number of employers research their applicants through social media and the web, and I think that’s important. It’s not a matter of just making those pictures private,” Schnell said. “The Internet stores everything. You can make it private, but there is always a chance that someone finds it. I’m not saying that all employers are trying to dig up dirt; they’re not trying to find the worst picture of you they can find to gauge whether or not you’ll be a good employee. But don’t give them an easy trip to find what you don’t want them to see.”
Schnell recommended many college students take the opportunity to understand the social media site LinkedIn. He explained how LinkedIn is an “invaluable resource to begin making those professional connections digitally.”
“LinkedIn is easy to do. It’s creating a profile, uploading your resume and then finding people you know on there in a professional sense and connecting with them,” Schnell said. “The other part I would say is remembering those other social channels. They are all a reflection of your personality and you can use that for harm. But at the same time you can use that to show just how good you are.”