Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Youtube. Flickr. Myspace. Wikipedia. Linkedin

These are some of the social media devices that have been born in the last decade or so (give or take some time) and it appears that they are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Like many, I was NOT a fan of social media. Sure, I used facebook to keep upwith my friends, family and colleagues. Yes, I even used the antiquated Myspace to listen to music and view pictures. But now, it seems as if you are not linkedin (no pun intended) to social media outlets then you are way out of the loop.

The new forms of social media allow for greater transparency that crosses space and time. No longer do we have  to wait for the mailman to drop the daily newspaper off or sit and tune in to the 5 or 6 or 7 o’clock news to stay in touch with local, national and international news. Now, information is literally at our fingertips. Which can be a good and not so good thing.

The touch of a button could almost instantaneously yield enough information on any subject that if we tried to read it all, we would all be blue in the face by the time it was over. Also the fact that anyone can post information on the world wide web creates issues with the credibility and validity of the content that we read. Nevertheless, the main benefit is that we have it. Information is available to us in almost limitless ways and it is up to us as consumers of it to do so with discretion.  As technology continues to progress, I can only imagine what all we will be able to access at the click of a button.

But,

What about those who are not technologically savvy? What do we do? Where do we go for help? When I moved to the U.K, I quickly realized how necessary it was to be informed and in tune with social media. In fact, at one of our first classes, we were urged to get a linkedin account, make sure our twitter and fb were professional and start subscribing to news subscription. Also, it appeared that at least half of my classmates blogged (something that I had only recently started a few weeks prior.)

I felt overwhelmed due to my ignorance regarding social media. I knew how to access what I needed, when I needed. But, I had never once considered entering the conversation that occurs via social media. Jobs are found. Professional and personal connections are made. And I believe that those of us who are not tuned into social media may be missing out on very good opportunites.

After all, when working in the realm of PR, and many of fields for that matter, how are you going to make small talk over the water cooler or in the elevator if you do not know what the people in your field are discussing.

Social Media seems here to stay, so you may as well learn how to use it. It will make you more marketable and definitely more competitive in the job market.

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