In the digital shift, the Philippines has taken the global lead in at least one measure: time spent on social media. The report, called Digital in 2017, showed that Filipinos spent an average of 4 hours and 17 minutes per day on social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.
To most non-millennials, this is probably a negative thing. Maybe it is the way other young people use it. You don’t have to spend 4 hours and 17 minutes to figure that out. But I believe that social media is a good thing. Here’s why; through social media, we can:
- Be social participants and active citizens
Social networking services can provide an accessible and powerful toolkit for highlighting and acting on issues and causes that affect and interest young people.
- Develop a voice and build trust
Social networking services can be used to hone debating and discussion skills in a local, national or international context. This helps users develop public ways of presenting themselves.
- Become collaborators and team players
Social networking services are designed to support users working, thinking and acting together. They also require listening and compromising skills.
- Become explorers and learners
Social networks encourage discovery. If someone is interested in certain books, bands, recipes or ideas, it’s likely that their interest will be catered for by a social networking service or group within a service.
- Be independent and build resilience
Online spaces are social spaces, and social networking services offer similar opportunities to those of offline social spaces: places for young people to be with friends or to explore alone, building independence and developing the skills they need to recognize and manage risk, to learn to judge and evaluate situations, and to deal effectively with a world that can sometimes be dangerous or hostile.
Even though most people view social media in a negative light, I believe with proper guidance and channels, it helps us deliver educational outcomes; facilitates supportive relationships; identity formation; and, promotes a sense of belonging and self-esteem. Additionally, in terms of professional development, It wouldn’t be wise to limit yourselves to purely local connections. Your professional success will also depend on how well you are able to utilize different technological aids and social media. For example:
- YouTube – The huge variety of instructional video available on YouTube makes it the number one interactive social media tool for professional development.
- Facebook – It has more than 1.28 billion active monthly users. Whether it is Facebook groups, Business pages or Events, each of these tools is equally useful. These are great ways of communicating with experts, spreading new ideas, building new relationships, building contacts and trying new things out.
- Twitter – connecting with like-minded learning professionals, following shared news stories, trends amongst other. Your career development through Twitter will include information and active participation in Twitter chats around a subject area.
- LinkedIn – Take credit for accomplishments and be generous while offering recommendations and endorsements for people you know. Send personalized connection requests to professionals and join groups in area of your interest. Last but not the least; LinkedIn is a place to find some of the best work opportunities in the industry.
The internet and social media provide us with a range of benefits, and opportunities to empower themselves in a variety of ways. We can maintain social connections and support networks that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and can access more information than ever before. The communities and social interactions people form online can be invaluable for bolstering and developing self-confidence, social and technical skills. Having said that, using this tool responsibly is still necessary. Hence, I am committing myself to these 3 #RUSM statements:
- Never badmouth other people or my work.
- Only intelligent and purposeful arguments
- Don’t check feed 1 hour before and after sleep time.