How the Millennial Generation Benefits from Social Media
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Social media is an outlet that has transformed our generation. Some millennials, including myself, feel like social media is not just a passing trend; it is the future. We have countless apps and media outlets right at the touch of our fingertips, and for peers and myself, social media is something we use every day. Whether it is checking your phone right after waking up, walking to class or even riding the bus, social media usage could amount to twenty plus hours each week for many individuals. But what is it about social media that captivates people? Which platforms are favored, and what purposes are they used for most? I asked some of my peers for their thoughts and how they think our millennial generation has benefited from it.
Kalah James, a junior in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, says she uses a variety of different platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat, to connect with friends, watch videos and check pictures. “Social media is important to me because it makes me feel connected to my friends and family that I don’t see regularly. It also makes me aware of what’s going on around the world,” James said. She also noted she gets a lot of her news from websites such as Yahoo or Google.
Emi Rosanwo, a U of I junior majoring in Business, says that she also uses Facebook and Instagram pretty frequently and believes that millennials use social media very differently than Gen Xers. “I feel like we use it more for connecting and social purposes rather than being informed. Additionally, I feel like we are always on social media, especially since it is so easily accessible with our phones,” Rosanwo said.
However, many like Rosanwo believe that social media could also have negative impacts on today’s youth, because people are becoming more reliant on the interactions they have online rather than their offline, face-to-face relationships. This may have something to do with the fact that many people feel more comfortable using social media or applications to communicate as many of them have grown up during this technological era and don’t know any differently. According to Rosanwo, many people don’t know what it is like to send a letter because they would rather send a text or Facebook message instead. Students also believe that the ways in which we use social media compared to the way our parents use it is very different. Jackson Liang, a junior Engineering major at U of I, says that he thinks parents use Facebook to check on their kids, while “we use it more for connections.”
No one can deny that social media is changing every day as developers try to come up with new ideas on how to capture an expanding market and today’s youth. According to their website, Facebook had 968 million daily active users on average for June 2015, while Instagram has over 400 million users monthly. Social media outlets will keep growing, adapting and raising the bar to cater to new generations.
Written by Estefania Florez, student at the University of Illinois.
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