Monday, 26 October 2015

The Power of Social Media

From Pixabay
Love it or detest it as the ultimate time waster, social media is here to stay and only continues to grow as far as I can see! Every time I think I'm fairly up to date in trying something new, lo and behold people start talking about another new platform that's about to take off. 

I finally got around to trying Instagram, which is photo led and quick (as the name suggests), although it doesn't work so well if, like me, you don't have the Internet on your actual phone. I have to email photos to my mini iPad before using the app to share photos which rather defeats the 'instant' idea. Now, I keep hearing about a video app called Periscope, but don't ask me much about it - yet.

However, I've been a big fan of Facebook for a while now, particularly as an easy way of keeping in touch with so many lovely writers from around the world, a few non-writing friends and a few family members. But today I've been overwhelmed by the number of birthday greetings from all these 'friends' on FB - and many of them are very much online friends and I've met many of them in real life too.

It struck me again what a wonderful platform it is for anyone who is lives alone or with few friends and family around them for whatever reason. If they have built up a good online relationship with people who share their interests, then all the virtual chat and cheerful birthday wishes (or any other kind) might go a long way to preventing loneliness. I'm lucky in having lots of friends and family within reasonable distance but husband was hugely impressed (and a little envious) at the sheer number of FB messages I've been receiving today!

Twitter is another platform I enjoy, albeit in a different way. Its 140 characters limit necessarily restricts the message but you can still chat back and forth with people if you wish. It's great for being concise too and a bit of a challenge at times. Some writers have a little chat session going on a Wednesday evening with @patsycollins but I always forget to join in. Another way it's proving excellent is on a Tuesday when lots of RNA members retweet each other's promotional tweet that day with the hashtag #TuesNews @RNAtweets. At least none of us feels embarrassed at all the promotion for that day as we're helping each other to be seen.

What do you think about such platforms? Anyone still refusing to join social media?



Becca McCallum said...

Social media can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I've yet to get the hang of twitter, and (like you) I don't have internet on my phone so the square-shaped world of instagram is beyond my grasp. I have blogger (obviously) and find pinterest both useful and dangerously distracting. Facebook is great to keep in touch with people, but also to leave reviews or find out about local projects.

Patsy said...

Thanks for the mention.

I do use social media - as you spotted! It has it's good points, but yes it can take up far too much time if I'm not careful.

Carolb said...

Yes, social media has it's uses, but it can be very distracting- especially Pinterest and Facebook. :-)

Mary Smith said...

I love Facebook and Twitter. I don't have a smart phone so Instagram's not for me. I've recently signed up for Pinterest but haven't started pinning anything. I keep hearing people say how much a distraction Pinterest is so maybe I shouldn't get into it after all!

Joanna said...

I never thought I would use it, but once I set aside my initial reluctance, I realised it was not only a wonderful way of finding things out, but also - and most importantly - a way of meeting friendly, supportive people. I restrict myself as much as possible. After twenty minutes or so a couple of times a day, I call a halt to it. Usually! xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Quite agree with your summing up, Becca! One of the main problems is the distraction social media provides for procrastinators like me.

Absolutely, Patsy!

Pinterest is fun, Carol, and I love the visual aspect of it.

I think you'd enjoy Pinterest, Mary - great for making boards to do with your books and interests.

Social media is excellent for interacting, Joanna - and yes, we all have to restrict the time on it!

Nicola said...

Very interesting post Rosemary. I am not a big fan of social media and do use it sparingly. I much prefer to socialise face-to-face, a skill that is arguably deteriorating amongst the up-coming generations due to social media (baa-hum-bug) :) Wishing you a wonderful week.

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