Youths and Social Media – Part IV
Social media networks provide tremendous opportunities for those of us living in this era. Unfortunately many young people are ignorant of these opportunities and so only dwell on the tips of the iceberg. There is the need to use the social networks innovatively and change our world positively. This is how to justify why God released the knowledge to us in this age. What does it means to innovate? It means to be inventive; to be ingenious and make changes in an established order.
MAXIMIZING THE SOCIAL MEDIA
We need to first realize that Social Medial is actually an aspect of Media or Mass communication generally. Although experts have come to agree that it falls into a category generally called the “the new media” differentiating it from the mainstream media which include the newspaper, magazine, radio, and television because it is internet based.
To maximize the Social Media therefore, there is need to first have an understanding of the basic functions of the media. The media plays four major functions.
• The media gives timely and relevant information to people.
• The media educates people.
• The media entertains.
• The media set agenda for public discourse.
If every user of media understands these roles, it will not be difficult to maximize its usage. Interestingly, each of the social media platforms can be used to achieve one or all of the above stated functions. It will also be helpful to know that as you think through all of the options for maximizing the social media, they all fall into six general bucks:
• Social Networks:
This involves services that allow you to connect with other people of similar interests and background. Usually they consist of a profile, various ways to interact with other users, ability to setup groups, etc. The most popular are Facebook and Linkedln.
• Bookmarking Sites:
These are services that allow you to save, organize and manage links to various websites and resources around the internet. Most allow you to “tag” your links to make them easy to search and share. The most popular are Delicious and StumbleUpon.
• Social News:
These are services that allow people to post various news items or links to outside articles, and then allows its users to “vote” on the items. The voting is the core social aspect as the items that get the most votes are displayed the most prominently. The community decides which news items get seen by more people. The most popular are Digg and Reddit.
• Media Sharing:
These are services that allow you to upload and share various media such as pictures and video. Most services have additional social features such as profiles and commenting. The most popular in this category is YouTube and Flickr.
This focuses on short updates that are pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive the updates. The most popular is Twitter.
• Blog Comments and Forums:
This allows members to hold conversations by posting messages. Blog comments are similar except they are attached to blogs and usually the discussion centers around the topic of the blog post.