For millions of people across the globe, social media serves as the ultimate way to express themselves and have some virtual fun. But it’s good for so much more than that. Over the course of the last decade, the concept of social media has continually evolved and now serves many purposes than simply helping people keep in touch.
Here’s a look at what it’s good for, other than spreading gossip.
Since social media’s initial function was to bring people together, it only makes sense that we have found ways to make money through it. There are lots of ways to make money through social media these days.
- Networking – employers often search social media profiles to get a glimpse at candidates’ personalities.
- Job Searching – LinkedIn is a professional network designed especially for professional networking. Job seekers and professionals post their experience and resumes; link up with people in similar fields; and share achievements with each other.
- Selling products – Facebook marketplace is one social outlet you can use to sell unwanted items.
- Offering Services – Care.com is an online network of caregivers who offer their services in pet and babysitting, as well as elder care and house sitting.
Finding a Mate
What started as a trickle in the 90s has turned into a monsoon. Online dating has absolutely exploded in recent years. It only makes sense in today’s day and age, as people find it harder to meet new people face to face. The online dating market has something for virtually every religion:
- Christian: ChristianMingle, ChristianCafe, Catholic Match, RainbowMatch
- Mormon: MormonDating
- Jewish: JDate, SawYouAtSinai
- Muslim: Muslima
- Non-religious: FreeThinkerMatch,
- Buddhist: BuddhistConnect
Other dating sites offer services that connect people through a variety of factors. Some of the most common ones are:
People of all ages have been turning to online communities for support. Those who struggle with addiction, depression, personal loss, and other devastating factors benefit from being able to connect with others who are going or have gone through similar ordeals.
Connect Like-Minded People
Looking beyond the social media juggernauts Facebook and Twitter, there are social networks out there for all kinds of networks of people. Here are some interesting niche social networks:
- Mint.com is a finance management site through which users share their financial struggles and triumphs and learn from each other’s mistakes.
- Stylehive is centered around those interested in fashion and accessories.
- 43Things is a collaborative goal-setting site that helps people make personal goals and find others to work with them toward them. Some examples of such goals are to lose weight, travel Europe, save money, etc.
- SparkPeople is a site built around the concept that the buddy system works best for helping people lose weight and get fit.
- CafeMom connects parents, giving them the chance to share struggles and schedule playdates.
No matter what your particular hobby, chances are you’ll be able to find a social network that’ll help you get in touch with people who enjoy it too. In addition to dating and niche sites, gambling communities bring together people with a passion for casino games and help them find new places to play online and in person.
Spreading the Word
News outlets and citizens alike have taken to social media as a way to get their message out to the masses. Twitter has become a particularly viable news source, as people of the 21st century demand information in short, direct bursts. Furthermore, Twitter has served as a catalyst for social change, fueling the protests in Egypt in recent years.
On a more personal note, when was the last time one of your friends had a baby or got married, and you didn’t check Facebook for photos of the big event? It’s the ultimate way for people to keep in touch on a personal level, even with miles and oceans in between them. Long distance relationships have become more common, and families are able to stay closer than ever before thanks to this newfound online phenomenon.
No matter which side of the argument you’re on, there’s no doubting that social media serves a greater purpose than spreading idle gossip. It has become an integral part of our society, and it doesn’t show any signs of dissipating anytime soon.