It seems a little crazy to think that our entire life could be completely satisfied by social media. But when you consider this and think about how much time we actually spend mentally attached to technology, there are so many milestones frozen in time embedded within these different avenues of communication.
It’s our entertainment. We use social media as a way to stay in touch with people, share funny videos, post an inside joke between friends; and don’t forget the social games we can play to compete against users on the internet – a little healthy competition never hurt anyone!
It’s our social life. These days, most things that we encounter in our lives end up somewhere online. Not just for a personal memory, but we are sharing these memories with friends and family in a public location that is easily accessed. We connect and reconnect with our childhood friends, long-lost family members, past and present co-workers, acquaintances, mutual friends, love interests, and more. Whether you upload a picture of a weekend trip with friends, a family holiday, your first love, or your brand new car – its all stored.
It’s our networking opportunity. Sites have made it so much easier to virtually network with those who share similar interests and career aspirations. Your social profile can also pose as a virtual resume. Users take an impression from what pictures you have up, what discussions you take part in, interests you have, and what information you share and post to your profile. Most users will have a general understanding of what kind of person is behind the profile just by reading the content within it.
It’s our news. We can find just about anything we need by surfing the internet. Whether its a breaking story or just a reference to something we remember hearing throughout the day, its there. Most newspapers have a website, so people can get the news while they are checking their email rather than shuffling through the pages of a newspaper in hand. Even between friends and family, the instant contact social media provides makes it easier to share information, because as long as you send the news their way you know the next time they log in, they will receive your message.
It’s our personal life. The first thing most of us do after meeting someone of interest to us is go on Facebook, find their profile and request them as a friend. This opens the gates to any communication going forward (as long as they accept you!). By doing so, you share your hobbies and interests, and receive their information online – from weekend plans, to pictures, to mutual friends and conversations – you become involved to a certain degree.
As time continues on, our relationship status changes, we have pictures together, and we comment on each others walls. Even sometimes, a stronger relationship could begin. From a wedding, to the birth of children, to grandchildren – pictures, updates, comments – its all shared through social media.
It’s our memory bank. As part of the circle of life, we can’t have someone remain with us forever – in person. However, with social media engagement, many people are finding that a user’s profile can become a virtual memorial for a loved one who is no longer with us. We can find old pictures of them, bring back old memories of their experiences, and even see how their lives changed over the years. Over time, it becomes somewhat of a virtual journal that we can look back on and bring that person back to us.
Although human interface is extremely important in building strong relationships between friends and family, social media fills in the gaps between these moments. No matter the distance, schedule conflict, work or life crisis, we can find a short few seconds to send a message, post a link, or update our profiles to let people know how we are and that we are thinking of those closest to us.
We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. So, how many words would your social profile be worth?