10 years ago, the concept of social media didn't exist. Our internet communication consisted of emails, instant messaging, and crudely decorated MySpace pages. People were still using flip phones. Only the coolest kids and the most tech-savvy adults had phones with actual keyboards. Even then, you had to pay an astronomical amount of money to access the internet for a few minutes. We lived our own lives without constantly monitoring the lives of everyone around us.
The creation of social media allowed us to check up on all of our friends simultaneously, without having to individually text, call, or email someone. Social media sparked the desire to know what everyone was doing at any given time of day and to let the world know what you were doing. But as we started to get more involved in social media, we became more aware of our presence on it. The line between private and public lives became blurred. In order to protect some of our sense of self, we would filter what we posted. Double-checking a tweet to make sure it was funny enough, editing our pictures so they portrayed us in the best light.
I could sit around and discuss all the positive and negative ways social media can affect your self-confidence all day. But what it really boils down to is branding. In essence, your social media account is very similar to an advertisement on TV. Think about it -- we all want to portray ourselves a certain way. In the same way you pick out clothes to show off your personal style, you cultivate your social media accounts to send a certain message. Commercials for sportswear try to convince you that wearing their clothes will make you fit. You post nature pictures to convince people that you are adventurous, or tweet humorous things to convince people that you are funny. We all tailor our accounts to provoke a certain response. You might not want to admit it, but I will -- I feel better about myself when a tweet gets a lot of retweets, or when a lot of people share my articles on Facebook. We all want to be noticed.
And this is exactly what a business wants. For you, more followers means self validation, a little confidence boost. For a business, more followers means more attention, which in turn leads to more customers and more money. Sure, adults have social media accounts. They comment all over your posts and like all of your friends' pictures. However, just because someone can use social media doesn't mean they're good at it, or that they understand it. That's where we come in.
We are young enough that we adapt quickly to change. We keep up on trends. We understand technology. Technology has changed the way that we communicate, and social media can be used as a cheap and easy tool to reach customers. It can be used to communicate with customers efficiently, but it can also be used as another platform. Companies want young employees that can help them establish a fan base on social media. They need employees that can help the brand evolve and reach more customers. Utilizing social media properly helps a business to get maximum exposure, the same way you time your social media posts for the most views and interactions. Adults just aren't as good at keeping up on the trends. Businesses need employees that can navigate rising trends and ride the wave to success.
Social media is a great way for businesses to gain more traction, but it can also be used get yourself noticed. Social media is important enough to employers that many experts say it should be included on your resume. So when your parents yell at you for spending too much time on Twitter instead of doing your homework, you can tell them that you're honing your skills for your next job interview.