As stressed in the majority of my blogs this semester, social media is an extremely powerful tool that can be used in many ways. As social media continues to grow and become more evident in today’s world, it is beneficial that we learn how to be active and informed users of these social media sites. Over the course of the semester, we used social media to do different things such as live tweeting for different causes, created a Linked In account and reached out to our social media ninjas and gurus.Through our experience of being social media users, we see that there are different types of users of social media that include: observers, participants and influencers. They are all technically part of the social media world, but some are more beneficial than others.
We all have those few friends that have that Twitter account, but barely tweet from it. When you ask why they even have it, they say that they like seeing what other individuals say, but do not feel the need to post anything themselves. This is an example of user that is an observer. The observers occasionally favorite your tweets, but that is basically it. Being an observer on social media is not bad, but when you are an observer on social media, it shows that you are not a part of the community, and makes you seem standoffish. It’s comparable to being the person at the party who is drinking their wine cooler by themselves in the corner. So basically in today’s world, it is not beneficial or cool to be that person, especially when a social media gives you the tools to be able to speak your mind and throw in your opinions in on a topic. So, don’t be that person.
We also all have that one friend that tweets and posts images on Twitter and Instagram regularly. They are always active on their sites, favoring, liking, retweeting and so on on a daily basis. But, although they are active on their social media sites, they do not post anything with extreme substance, and tweet things that are on their mind, about boy troubles and so on. This user of social media is considered a participant. They are there active and engaged, but nothing that they do or say is really that important, or even relevant. If we go back to our party scenario, they are the girl who gets too drunk at the party after a couple of drinks, and tells everyone at the party (including the observer in the corner with her wine cooler) about her boy troubles, and how the boy she has been seeing won’t reply to any of her texts and Snapchats. (She even went as far as to DM him on Twitter…what was she thinking?!)
Last but not least, once we get past the wine cooler girl and the drunk boy crazy girl, we get to the host of the party. They are cool and collected, and always know what to do when someone spills alcohol on the brand new rug. Everyone always goes to their parties, because they love the people because they are great. Because so many people respect them, when they post on their social media sites (which they do regularly) they are always getting responses on feedback, and also engaged in others tweets as well. These individuals are the influencers of social media. What they have done in the past or what they are currently doing on social media and in their daily life is influential and inspiring for some. They have a large number of followers, because their followers benefit from what they do or say on their sites. They are considered social media gurus and ninjas, and go well beyond the definition of what it means to be a Trust Agent.
As described, there are a wide variety of different ways in which individuals use their social media sites. We have the observers, who stay out of everything but enjoy the content, the participants who are active but do not have much relevance, and influencers who are influential and inspiring to those who follow them. With that being said, which type of social media user would you like to be?