Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2. Social Media: Embrace it

I first saw a video similar to this my freshman year at University of Oregon in Media and Society.

My mind was blown.

How could something so small take over our daily lives? How could it have so much control but then be restricted?

At first, social media was where people could go to maybe stay in touch with people, see what they're doing and share ideas and interests. Now its almost too much with Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Myspace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Almost everyone and their mother has a Facebook page including my grandma!  It has become such a common tool in everyday life that we now have a term called "Facebook stalking." Whether we like it or not, social media impacts our choices every day.

And because social media impacts our choices every day it can be influential as well as informative. We share Youtube videos, articles, Pinterest ideas, etc.  The way we are being educated is changing to accompany new forms of media and technology.  One of the quotes that stuck out to me in the video was from Erik Qualman. He said,

"We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it."

This quote can be applied to effective advertising for products, marketing, as well as using social media to the best of our abilities to send an influential message.

Here is an example of how social media can be used to send an influential message.

In spring of 2009, one of my neighbors fell victim to dating abuse and was killed by her boyfriend. It was a true tragedy that her life had been taken and in such a brutal way but in her memory her parents started a foundation called DASH, or Dating Abuse Stops Here. It has received 844 likes on Facebook and offers resources such as hotlines, advice for parents and signs of early abuse. By using social media DASH was able to reach a larger number of people and is working to prevent further cases of abuse. DASH utilized its social media connections and illustrated how to use social media to the best of its abilities.

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