Social Media, or is it?

Social Media Social media has been part of my daily life for at least the last ten years, from MSN Messenger and Myspace accounts right through to the Twitter and Instagram feeds today.

It is becoming an obsession for us millennials; not being able to get out of bed until the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rounds have been done and we’re up-to-date again. This cannot be healthy and it is definitely deflecting our social nature rather than enhancing it. We’re all constantly glued to some kind of device, and refreshing feeds that we barely even look at, losing focus on what’s actually happening at that moment in the real world.

Yes, of course these technologies have huge perks to them – just being able to keep in contact with people you cannot see regularly is great – but these outlets are becoming places to either; boast about recent antics, or rant and whinge about the day’s annoyances – and although I cannot say I am an exception to this, I think I’m finally getting bored of it. It’s making our days surrounded by constant moans and negative vibes.

In protest, I recently decided to do a weekend social media detox and it was so refreshing! I no longer feel the need to check Facebook every day, or Twitter every hour minutes… but I’ll admit I can’t quite let go of my Instagram fix yet! It’s a much happier environment in my defence… or that’s the excuse I’m going to go with! It’s so nice to be out of the habit of constantly scrolling down feeds that are actually just quite draining (maybe I’m following the wrong people!).

But nowadays, not only do we have our own personal contacts to keep track of, these platforms are also providing additional channels for companies to bombard us on a daily basis. The word ‘contextualised’ is being thrown around a lot lately in the marketing world, and I really think this is a step that organisations need to take before people start shutting down these channels or taking up their rights of unsubscribing to any form of messaging from these companies.

There needs to be more of a level ground.

Between all the emails, adverts, banners and offers, companies are losing relevance as so many of us consumers are just trying to block out the ‘noise’ they are now creating.

This need for contextual messaging explains why companies like BuzzFeed and Upworthy are doing so well at the moment; they’re providing a whole host of relevant, engaging content that can be viewed when you want to do so. The majority of the content is humorous and provides easy-reading, but it also maintains up-to-date breaking news stories and, at times, demonstrates quite controversial views around hot topics. The perfect recipe for a mass of shares … oh brilliant, full circle back to the world of social media!

Maybe companies will go down this route of building content around articles and blog posts which resonate with their audience, providing an additional service and maintaining relationships with consumers. However, it is inevitable that this content will be blasted across social media to support the reach and success of each piece. So no getting rid of the overwhelming messages just yet!

For now, I will stick to my more reserved use of the social world online and spend more time actually being social in the real world.

Are you a social media fiend? Or do you try to steer clear?

Natalie

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