Written by Olivia
BSc (Hons) Marketing
Since it is Social Media Day today I just wanted to share my experience of how social media has helped me through life.
Back when I was 13 I started my own YouTube channel, and posted any kind of video I felt like. One day this would be a makeup or DIY tutorial, the next a comedy sketch or day in the life. Obviously, YouTube in itself is social media, but I also leveraged other platforms like Instagram, Twitter and at the start even my personal Facebook profile (embarrassing… but it worked!) to promote my content. After a few years I grew an audience of almost 10,000, had over 300,000 video views and was lucky enough to attend YouTube meet-ups where I would get to meet fellow YouTubers and Viewers and even be on a panel at Summer in the City. My channel also got me coverage in some newspapers and TV documentaries (sidenote: I have the coolest parents ever who supported me through this all!). This was my first glimpse into marketing, and I loved it so much I chose to study it at university.
Making friends for life 👭
Secondly, social media is how I met my best friend. We’ve all been there, you join a freshers Facebook group before you attend university and try and meet likeminded people, coursemates and flatmates so you already have friends when you arrive… In February 2016 I joined one of these groups and somehow banded up a group of friends – Annabel being one of them. We videocalled all the time and even met up a few times in small groups and once as a big group before term started. I’ve got to be honest, the group didn’t stay together for long – but that’s okay as not all friendships are meant to last. However, Annabel and I just clicked! To this day we have survived being best friends whilst she moved to America and back… as you can imagine we relied on social media to keep in touch! Got to spill that tea somehow.
Lastly, my placement experience was based around social media. I was a digital marketing and social media intern at The Walt Disney Company. Whilst I’m not allowed to tell you everything about the role, I can say finding creative ways to send out an April fools message or make funny memes was one of the most enjoyable parts of my job! I never, ever thought being a meme maker could be a career but I was definitely mistaken. Somehow, I could scroll through social media for hours and justify it as ‘research’ for my job 😂
Now comes onto the controversial part of social media – too much screentime. For me, I balance this with trying to be mindful about my social media intake and only scrolling for fun (not for procrastination – hard to commit to at the moment when we can’t leave the house). Now, I know social media gets a lot of stick from people but for me it has provided endless opportunities for new adventures and friends. I think we need to start viewing social media as a life enhancer and use it that way, rather than getting stuck in a consumption black hole.