When a user opens up Instagram, what does a person see? A user sees photographs, moments in peoples lives in pixelation form.
What do I see? I see motivation to live life to the fullest.
Every person on Instagram, and other social media outlets, gives me motivation or ideas for things I want to do or be in life. I see glimpses of peoples lives with awesome adventures either traveling to exotic places or doing something as simple as a fun community service project. Seeing other people have so much fun and accomplishing things has made me want to do more.
Instagram is not the only social media that plays an important part in creating ideas or having adventures. Pinterest is a place where a person can make up their dream life or feel creative. A place where ideas can be born and shared. Twitter is where the most random thoughts are shared and, for the most part, not judged. Facebook has become a great place to connect or share with people who you may have a lack of contact with or don't see very often. Sharing photos and opinions is where a different view point can be found.
There is actual research that has been done on how social media has influenced certain industries.
According to Zheng Xiang and Ulrik Gretzel, social media has created an economic boost for people wanting to travel. With the sharing of photos and opinions on where to travel and how to travel on social media, people are more comfortable with the idea of traveling. They saw a nine percent influence from mainly Facebook and Instagram. There was a 24 percent positive influence from travel boards (which are easily accessed through a share on Facebook or an attached pin.)
Xiang and Gretzel weren't the only ones who found social media motivating others to become part of the world beyond the screen. Georgetown University Center for Social Impact and Communication have found that people who are technologically savvy on the internet are more likely to do or help with community service. Fifty five percent of participants of random surveying said that after seeing a cause via social media, they have been inspired to take further action. Thirty-eight percent agreed that a way that can help further the cause's awareness was by specifically sharing it on social media.
But isn't social media just media?
Yes, it is true that social media is a branch of media. According to the Oxford dictionary, media is defined as mass communication. Media influences our opinions and ideals. Social media has become an easy way to share or influence others, but instead of having a huge corporation influencing others, it's each person doing the influencing. By the click of a mouse or typing on a keyboard, a person can write a review about somewhere or something that can influence a persons decision or view point.
Millennials, my generation, are the pinnacle users of this new wave of communication. We are consumed by it and love to use it.
Just as Xiang and Gretzel found, I am more motivated now to explore what the world has to offer due to my seeing others enjoying the world through a lit up screen. I have been more motivated to go hiking, travel Europe, become trendier, cook and live my life by trying new things.
All in all, I will keep pinning stuff on my boards and clicking "like." I will keep looking through travel blogs and Instagram feeds. This is a weird motivation, but it works. They are goals. The goal to try the latest DIY projects from the cool pin I found or learn how to cook through a video someone shared on Facebook.
This might seem like a weird new kind of motivation, but this is how a generation is starting to find a new sense of motivation. All social media users: Remember now that every time that someone post something, it might inspire someone to do something out of their norm or their comfort zone. It's important to share photos or thoughts, because a user may never know who they may have struck a chord with.