So, it’s 2020, times have changed, and the millennials are taking over, hence a millennial writing this to share the benefits of how you can use social media to benefit your work, lifestyle, family, kids and whatever else you choose. Time to jump on the bandwagon or, dare I say it, age. 

Big majorities say social media is dividing us from connecting, being social, and just a waste of time, many people say it, but what if we saw things differently and shifted our mindset? Social media is not going anywhere, it’s actually going to get bigger and more innovative, ways we cannot fathom right now, think more than fifty years from now because it’s being created as we speak for the future. It’s the new way of connecting, staying connected, and being connected. If you’re against it and coming from a negative aspect you’re just not aware of the benefits it offers. This article is for the ones who need a little nudge in the right direction, especially those parents who will not allow their teenagers anywhere near social media! Here are a few connections that you’re able to create with the help of social media:

Connection 1: Let’s start with the moms and dads. Do you know that employers, colleges, recruiters, etc.… check social media to see if your kids have a page? They do this to get a better understanding of who they are, what type of person they’re hiring, if they have a wholesome, responsible, educated, (the list goes on, mom) good head on their shoulders (and because they really are great kids). Social media gets a bad rep when we see teens doing unimportant and less admirable things that get called out. Parents quickly worry fearing their teens might do something or that their kids will be exposed to such things and they don’t want them influenced. My suggestion is to create an Instagram or any social media profile they are dying for, and tell them to post things like accomplishments, hanging out with their friends, any activities they are taking up, their weekend activities, school projects, and everything and anything they created, and don’t forget those family photos. Their Instagram (or any social media profile) will ooze balance, creativity, happiness, and a teenager with a happy and respectable online presence. Start Freshman year of high school and don’t worry about likes or followers, that does not matter, you’re just showcasing your child’s essence and work. Who they follow does matter though so be sure they are admirable famous people or people and businesses in your community that you enjoy supporting. You want universities and employers to see this. This is social media in a positive yet controlled manner that benefits you and your teen. 

Connection 2: For businesses, namely the ones who won’t even bother with social media because they just simply don’t believe in it, you are part of the community in your location. People want to see you, your product, or service and they want to see what you have to offer. Start small, simple posts are all you need to show who you are and what you do. Start with a photo you like that shows off your business and make it any which way you like. Post photos and stories of everyday life in your business, we love seeing the engagement and the behind the scenes peek. Have fun with it, you can do no wrong as it is just social media and it’s also experimental, so if you see your followers are not receptive to some content, no worries just delete or change it next time. This is where the connection is established between your account and followers, you’re responding to them. It’s not in person but that connection is still there, we just feel it. So, when that follower comes into your business, guess what? They already feel like they know you and they’re comfortable. So, who’s saying social media is dividing us again? Don’t listen to them, they’re just aging (ha). Some personal advice to keep in mind is that social media is not a sales platform it’s a brand platform. You’re showing your brand, I don’t recommend sales unless you have something so juicy that will benefit your followers and maybe just once every two blue moons. Keep it subtle.

Connection 3: For fun. It’s important to post with a purpose, that you have an intention behind it. Yeah, there are those accounts who post non-stop photos of their toddlers and that one person who literally will not stop posting their food pics, really? You can’t put that in a story? Leave your everyday social media content (food, kids, quotes, Stairmaster stats, etc.…) for stories, they really are the new likes. For an official post that will not go away, create with purpose and have an intention behind it. What’s your intention for posting this? Your audience is seeing and feeling your intention and vibe, who you are. They feel connected to you whether you realize it or not. 

Can you feel the new way of making a connection? Social media is the new photo album, the new diary of moments, events, and new ways of meeting people and connecting. Just because we are not in person, tangibly expressing ourselves with another doesn’t mean we don’t feel the same connection through a screen. This enhances how we work, do business, and socialize now, it’s the new way! With everything there are advantages and disadvantages, don’t fall into the negative aspect of using social media. It’s made as a tool to use to benefit you, your work or business, family, social circle, and whatever else you wish to use it for. 

Vivian Zohrabian has a B.S. from Rutgers Business School. She handles the social media platform for Never Stop Learning and currently works from home connecting to audiences and building engagement on social media.