The relevance of social media is a hot topic these days. Some teachers, media outlets and magazines will tell you social media is the future. Other sources say spending too much time on Instagram and TikTok increases depression, anxiety and contributes to low feelings of self-worth. However, we can learn skills on social media that help us contribute to society in a meaningful way. Social media stars offer us a crash course in building a brand, marketing, and making your online presence into a business. Instagram isn’t all fluff. Instead of viewing social media use as a waste of time, I’m going to explain how to gain valuable skills on the apps you love to use.
I was an English major in college. I learned to think critically about the texts I was reading. That informed the way I take in the information I see online. Students can learn that same skill through using Instagram. The app puts an immense amount of content onto our plates. It is up to us to decide whether we want to pay attention to that content or not. Endless scrolling allows us to be guided by our own decisions. We learn to trust our instincts and think for ourselves. Young people can learn about this skill in school and reinforce the learning process through social media use. This is one of the ways to gain valuable skills.
Gain Valuable Skills With Creativity
If you want to stand out on social media, you have to be creative. Whether it’s sharing a hobby you’re passionate about, using comedy to attract a crowd or something else, you have to find your niche to gather followers. This requires some thought about what you’re passionate about and how you can bring those passions to life online. The positive and negative side to apps like TikTok is that there’s no set path to follow to reach success. It isn’t an industry where you go to school, get a degree, and work your way up. Everyone starts on the same playing field. How far you go depends on whether you can create your own path. Through social media, we can gain valuable skills related to creativity.
Learn to Work Together
If there’s anything we can learn from the Hype House TikTok stars, it’s that content creation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. To make your online presence known you have to work with other creators to get your content noticed. If you’re into photography, you can gain inspiration from other photographers on Instagram. If you love selfies, you can have a friend help you take fabulous photos. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you collaborate with other people, you’re more likely to gain a following on social media. This is a valuable skill you can carry with you the rest of your life.
In this day and age, your Instagram caption or TikTok audio matters just as much as the photo or video itself. If you’re using social media to reach an audience, you have to understand that your followers are scrolling through content all day long. We don’t always stop to read everything, so you need a caption that is direct and to the point. Captions that prompt engagement are the ones that are the most successful. You don’t have to write a novel, but you do need to write something that is going to inspire your followers to take action. Communication is another valuable skill you can gain with social media. It’s one you will use every day even when you’re not online.
Superstars like Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez are very vocal about the struggles of dealing with internet trolls. The internet can be a cruel space, especially when you’re young and take everything everyone says so seriously. Using social media can help people build a thick skin. You learn which comments to respond to, and which ones to ignore completely. Social media can help us gain valuable skills in confidence. To be great on the internet, you have to believe in yourself and pay the trolls no mind.
Not everyone enjoys being active on social media. This doesn’t mean it can’t help you gain valuable skills. If there’s anything I’ve learned while using Instagram, it’s that there’s always something new to see. I can use the content on my feed to my advantage. What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned on Instagram or TikTok?
Featured photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash