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We are nearly all aware of the dangers of social media - its ability to consume massive volumes of our precious time, feed political disquiet and create unrealistic body and lifestyle images.
But when used carefully and responsibility, there can be benefits to be gained from connecting through social media.
More than a third of us now access social media more than five times a day*, as we recognise that there is always something happening in the many worlds inside our phone or laptop.
So what is so good about connecting through social media?
Social media makes the whole world accessible
One of the most obvious benefits of social media is the ability it gives us all to reach people anywhere in the world. We can stay in touch with high school friends who moved to the other side of the globe, video call relatives now living far away, or meet new people from cities or regions we’ve never even heard of.
Easy and instant communication
With 80 per cent of us now connected to social media*, we no longer need to rely on landline phones, answering machines or snail mail to contact someone. We can simply pick up our smartphones, open our laptops and immediately communicate with anyone on the many platforms.
Find your community
Whether your interest is extreme ironing, the back-catalogue of 80s pop bands or the art of paint pouring, social networks can connect you with those who share your loves when other enthusiasts seem a little thin on the ground where you live. Many groups have social network sites where like-minded people share ideas, discussions and achievements in the field of their passion.
Real-time news and instant information
No longer do we need to wait for the evening news to come on TV or the newspaper delivery to bring the news that will shape our days. If we want to know what's going on, social media gives us news in an instant and lets us customise our information by following the outlets and topics of our choice. Granted, this customisation is can be a pitfall and we are reminded of the importance of not just being informed, but well informed.
With time always in short supply, it gets harder to keep in touch with family and friends, school parents or our community. But thanks to social media, we can see the videos and photos of our niece’s wedding, provide input to our children’s class event planning and stay in touch with happenings in our suburb thanks to its active Facebook group.
Connecting with local businesses
Not only does social media allow us to connect with like-minded people and long-lost friends, but it can help us find local businesses and organisations with products and services that can help us in our lives. Connect Health & Community uses social media to promote our many services and events and celebrate the amazing people in our community. To find out more, visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/connecthealth.org.au/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/connect_health/
Good old fun
And sometimes, social media is just plain fun. Half of us check our social media on our break or lunch time* as a means of entertainment and relaxation. As social creatures, we like to see what our friends are up to without having to ask them and we enjoy seeing and engaging with our online communities as a break from our daily routines. And who doesn’t enjoy a funny cat or dog video to lighten a stressful day?
But like all things, social media should be consumed in moderation.
Enjoy connecting with your online community, laughing at the talking bird or liking your mate’s bad Sean Connery impersonation, and then keep it real. Unplug and connect with the real world around you.*2018 Yellow Social Media Report
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