I have never been an avid user of social media. Nobody wants to see a million pictures of me doing homework or studying, which is a problem considering that school consumes just about the majority of my life. So, aside from special moments in my life and the occasional retweet or commentary here and there, I have spared my followers from updates that they don't really care about. I've used platforms like Facebook and Instagram to scroll through in moments of boredom or to catch up on the news. That's about it.
Early on in the past semester, I had to make my own Twitter account for my communication class. We had to tweet every day of class to get points for attendance. It was our professor's way of encouraging us to build a professional social media presence, which is clearly beneficial, but I was reluctant because I felt that I simply did not have anything interesting to say. I did what I had to do, though, and made it through the year with a decent account. Still, it definitely wasn't anything special. My attempts to keep it professional went a bit beyond necessary, and in effect they took away one of social media's key components: personality.
Over the past couple weeks, though, I have begun to appreciate social media in a new way. With summer break came more free time. I started spending more time scrolling through Twitter and realized that there is a lot more to it than updating people on where you are, what you are doing, or who you are with. In a way, it can be used as a form of entertainment. Some people are truly skilled at composing humorous, thought-provoking, and compelling tweets. I decided to give it a shot and tweet any clever or witty thoughts I had, and while I'm not the next Wendy's or Common White Girl account, it's actually pretty cool to have an audience for the thoughts that come my way.
Although I'm no social butterfly either, it is also sometimes nice to use Twitter to keep up with old friends (not so much family- that's what Facebook is for, right?). It is a great way to stay in touch without forcing anything, and gives plenty of opportunity for casual conversation. After years of mostly scrolling, I had forgotten about the true purpose of social media: communicating!
Communicating with close friends is one thing, but something I had long been skeptical about is communicating with people that I don't know. With Twitter being such an open social media platform, though, I have gotten to know many amazing people with similar interests. It is also a perfect way to reach out to those who you might not otherwise be able to contact, like favorite artists and other idols. Simply following them is also a great way, and in most cases, the only way, of keeping up with them.
While social media is undeniably common among millenials, if you don't have it or use it, maybe it's time to give something like Twitter a chance. I could come up with a list of complaints about it, but overall, it is a lot more interesting and useful than I initially gave it credit for. It might not be love at #myfirsttweet, but it's definitely worth a try.