With the current contemporary changes in this new digital world, social media has become a pivotal platform through which people meet and connect (Cottreau-Moore, 2020). As the name suggests, social media is a social networking platform that connects people from diverse backgrounds without discrimination. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram enable people to stay connected to their friends and relatives no matter how far they are. People are now able to converse from anywhere and at any time of the day. Not only has social media enabled chatting, but also the sharing of an unlimited number of pictures across the world. It is not ludicrous to say that social media has made the world a smaller space. People are able to create and maintain long-distance relationships without the constant need to keep chatting. Besides, there are video calls and face time options that even bring people closer together because they can see each other. Overall, through this ease in communication, information sharing has been made easy, thus opening doors for people seeking jobs, advice and other forms of knowledge.
Another way through which social media connects people is through marketing and advertising. Network sites have millions of users who form a market for businesses’ goods and services. In addition, with the technological advancements in today’s generation, online shopping has become the new norm. Gone are the days when people would spend hours walking from one store to another looking for an item they needed. Through digital marketing, people are able to place their orders from the comfort of their homes, thanks to social media. This is a form of connection because businesses are able to build an online community with their consumers. Social media has enabled two-way communication in digital marketing where online shoppers can give reviews, ratings and feedback.
Social media has created a wide array of connectivity forums, including campaigns and movements. These movements that bring people together comprise the ‘Me Too movement against sexual violence and the Anti-Discrimination campaign (Lenhart, 2015). These forums connect people who share the same thoughts and are enthusiastic and vocal about fighting for human rights. They also unite victims of the animosities who share their experiences, thus encouraging one another as well as others suffering in silence. On platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the use of hashtags brings attention to all platform users, thus creating a bond where no one is left out. Because the participants have a common goal, social media has helped promote unity in fighting significant injustices.
Lastly, social media is pivotal for teen friendships and has become a safe space for them. This is mainly for young people who find it hard to interact with others physically, perhaps because they are shy. Social media is, therefore, an easy way for them to create connections with a number of people. Besides, they are able to learn more about their friends, what they like and dislike and their hobbies without having met. It is ten times easier to make a new friend online than physically. This is mainly because one is free to present themselves authentically as they are without feeling pressured to be a certain way. Because of their authenticity, they are able to attract people who are like them or admire their personalities, thus forming meaningful friendships. Despite the fact that many people hide behind their keyboards and adopt different personas, we cannot ignore the contribution of social media to peer friendships.
Cottrell-Moore, A. (2020). 5 Ways Social Media Brings People Together. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from Social media: https://www.makeuseof.com/ways-social-media-brings-people-together/
Lenhart, A. (2015). Chapter 4: Social Media and Friendships. Retrieved August 6, 2015, from Pew Research Center: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/08/06/chapter-4-social-media-and-friendships/