Think you’ve thought of all the ways to use your social media accounts? Think again. Here are four new ways to be social online. Social media sometimes gets a bad rap for being a time waster, but these ideas are anything but!
The Modern Version of Pen Pals
People who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s often communicated with people from afar by being pen pals. That practice has not disappeared entirely, but instead evolved to suit the digital age. Websites like Interpals allow people to interact across continents. Communicating with people who live elsewhere is a great way to broaden perspectives, and the Internet makes it possible via social media.
Being an Informed Consumer
Because so many businesses now have a social media presence, it’s more efficient for potential consumers to do research about products or services prior to contacting a company, even if they don’t live in the area. For example, a person who lives in Maryland could help an aged loved one from Pennsylvania comparison shop between the local plumbers who have social media profiles offering details about services, prices, contact information and even special deals for their social media fans.
A Connection to Pop Culture
People of all tastes and backgrounds now have numerous ways to stay entertained during their free time, but that sometimes translates into a sense of aimlessness and a habit of spending more time deciding what to do than actually doing it.
Fortunately, a quick scroll through friends' social media feeds tends to give insight about films, music releases, art shows and more. Now, instead of relying solely on traditional news sources, social media users can gain a consensus about interesting entertainment offerings, and hopefully make smarter choices about how to stay occupied.
Facebook Graph brings a whole new dimension to this, too – next time you’re trying to figure out what to watch, try searching “movies my friends like” or “tv shows my friends like.” Not only will you have a new movie or show to sink your teeth into, you’ll have something new to talk about with them.
Broadcasting Social Causes
Recently, Facebook mentioned that 2.7 million people changed their profile pictures to red and pink equal signs in support of same-sex marriage when the issue went before the United States Supreme Court. Regardless of a person’s usual attention to human rights and similar causes, social media lowers barriers, so taking a stand for something is now as accessible as switching a graphic. This could be appealing to people who are interested in publicly stating beliefs, but can’t march in a picket line.
Although there are ways to spend mindless hours engrossed in social media websites, the examples above demonstrate how there are just as many ways to use them to make life more productive, positive, and fun!