I am a millennial. In fact, I am the most millennial millennial I know. That being said, I love social media. Adore it. Can’t imagine life without it. I love social media and its power so much, in fact, that I get very defensive when people don’t feel the same way.
I’ve heard all kinds of negative things about social media from people in every generation.. Millennials. Gen Xs. Baby boomers. I’ve heard people say that it’s stupid and that they are above it. I’ve heard that it is nothing but a cause of unnecessary drama. I’ve even heard that it ruins marriages (Side note: if your marriage is in trouble because of Facebook, I think you have bigger problems … But that’s just my opinion).
Let me tell you about how I learned to love social media. I lived the first 18 years of my life in Baltimore, MD. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Baltimore and my life there, but I always knew that I belonged in the south. That being said, I set my sights on Flagler College and after high school graduation, I made the trek to Florida. I chose a school and a town where I knew no one. A lot of people would call that crazy, but I like to think of it as ambitious. Daring. Ballsy? I doubted my decision at least a hundred times, but I did it and social media helped me.
When I got my acceptance letter to Flagler, I was elated (especially since it was the only school I applied to). One of the first things I did was join the “Flagler College Class of 2011” Facebook page. Why? To meet people! Duh. This group made it possible for me to connect with my future classmates while I spent one of my last summers in Baltimore. We talked majors and minors and student life and I got to see how many people were leaving life in another state to start over in Florida. What a relief. I already felt better about my decision. It gave me a head start on meeting new people and helped me sleep better at night. Any anxiety I had was replaced with excitement. Social media did that. It changed my entire state of mind.
Fast forward through the summer. It’s time. I’m leaving the only life and town I’ve known and moving 810 miles south to the Sunshine State. I adjusted well. I mean, it’s Florida … What’s not to love? Palm trees, beaches, warmth. Yes, please. I lucked out and met some awesome girls in the dorm across the hall and immediately felt at home. Florida is going to be alright. But, that didn’t make me miss the life I left behind any less. I left my family and my BEST friends. It wasn’t as simple as calling my friends for a lunch date. Or going shopping with my Mom and Grandmom. Or tearing through some steamed crabs with my Dad and brother. And that kinda sucked. I’ll never forget how I felt watching my family drive away to catch their flight back to Baltimore, knowing it would be MONTHS before I would see them again. Complete heartbreak. I knew I would love Florida, but that didn’t stop the tears from freely flowing as the airport shuttle pulled away.
How did I fight being homesick? Social media! Sure, my family and friends were only a phone call or a text away, but nothing beats being able to see their life through social media. I saw the pictures my friends posted from their new schools and pictures of family get-togethers. I still got to be a part of their lives and that was amazing. I wasn’t missing anything just because I was far away. Not to mention, I could share all the amazing experiences I was having with the people I loved most in this world. Because of social media, I came home to visit and felt like no time had passed. I wasn’t forgotten or out of the loop. I could talk to my friends about the classes they posted about and compare crazy college nights out. Social media made my transition to college seamless. Perfect. Eight years later and I am still equally excited to see social media updates from my family and friends in Baltimore. Now I can see my new baby cousins that I could otherwise only get to see twice a year (if that) and the first homes my friends have bought. I have watched my best friends fall in love and when I come home for their weddings, I feel like I’ve been there through every milestone they have had. That is priceless. The power of social media is priceless.
Sure, you may not be moving away or starting college, but that doesn’t mean social media can’t be a total game changer. Lori Ruff said “Social Media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Millennial or not, it’s time for you to see how social media fits into your life – and trust me, in one way or another, it does. It may be updating your LinkedIn profile to advance your career. It may be using Twitter to connect to bloggers who might be interested in the product you invented. It might be starting a blog to share all the recipes you have created through years of cooking for your family. Whatever social media channel it’s through or what outcome you are looking for, social media is here and it’s going to help.
It is my passion for the power of social media that sparked my passion for FlipperSmack. This platform is unlike anything we could have dreamed. It’s here to make social media work for you. For your brand. Paying for a sponsored post on Facebook or Google AdWords isn’t enough anymore. We want to hear from the people we trust. Anyone can pay someone to make them look good, but no one can beat a recommendation from a trusted friend, colleague or blogger. If you aren’t using social media, know that your competitors are. We are in the age of social media and there is no time like the present to get on board. After all, in the words of Mark Twain, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started” – so let FlipperSmack help you get started today!