I used to be the Facebook queen. If you were my friend, I liked every picture, status, comment you posted. I knew what was going on in everyone’s lives via what they put on Facebook (which was all of their life, right?). I felt so in the know, in the loop, up-to-date, whatever you want to call it.
Lent of 2013 comes along. I pondered what would be difficult for me to sacrifice for 40 days and couldn’t think of a thing. Then a friend (doubtfully) challenged me to give up Facebook for Lent. I used a few lame excuses like “What if I get invited to an event and don’t know about it?” and “I need Facebook messaging because not everyone has my phone number,” but ultimately, I decided to shun Facebook for those 40 days.
And I loved it.
I was out of the loop and it felt so good. I realized that I didn’t need to know everything that was going on. The time that had previously been committed to Facebook scrolling was now being used for talking to the people around me, reading my Bible or any book for that matter, running, doing homework, and all inclusively and most importantly, for living life. Facebook was a cheap substitute for being present in peoples’ lives and my own life.
I am proud to say that Facebook addiction is a thing of the past. I still use it, but I barely spend 2 minutes a day on it.
(Twitter and Instagram are a slightly different story, but hey, baby steps.)
In order for social media to be used for the best, it must be used for its strengths and in moderation. Social media is a uniquely great (and cheap) way to connect those separated by distance, raise awareness for issues, and convey a message to a large group of people. Beyond that, it breaks into the displacement theory and takes time away from other things of quality. Social media users need to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of social media and then use it accordingly.
See the trap and avoid it.
My computer screen is my security. I hide behind it. When I don’t know what to do, I whip out my laptop and assume I’ll find the answer there. After all, the Internet has everything I could possibly need, right?
But what happens when there’s nothing left to search?
What happens when you’ve scrolled through your Twitter feed until you know more than you wish; you’ve checked Facebook only to find no new happenings from the last five minutes; you’ve played enough Sporcle games to last a lifetime?
Something must be missing… Or I must be missing something.
When I’ve searched the world wide web far and wide for contentment, for entertainment, and still come out empty-handed, I feel disappointment.
What could possibly fill that void? What bridges the gap between wandering and fulfillment?
What is the unsearchable that I am so often searching for?
Maybe I’m just searching in the wrong places.
Event planning has taken on a whole new frontier with the widespread integration of social media.
Instead of passing out flyers, sticking event reminders under windshield wipers, and mailing out invitations, event planners have switched to inviting and enticing their target audience by tweeting, creating Facebook events, and posting Instagram photos.
The social media revolution has forced companies to either keep up with the fast-paced, perpetually-changing social media or get left behind.
For event planners, this has many pros.
- Money. While social media is not free- contrary to popular belief- it is a much more efficient way to reach your target audience, especially if you’re focusing on the 50 and under crowd. According to Pew Internet Research, “Internet users under 50 are particularly likely to use a social networking site of any kind, and those 18-29 are the most likely of any demographic cohort to do so (83%).” Social media allows your event to be seen by more of the people you are trying to market, thus making the money you do spend effective.
- Creativity. There are limitless ways to utilize social media. An event can be promoted via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Vine, Ptch, and more. And with social media constantly evolving, there are always new ways being introduced to use the same platform.
Joey Wagner, owner of the J Wagner Group, spoke to my Social Media class at the University of Louisville this morning. His company fully services events, marketing and all. One event that practically developed over social media is the Pink Prom. Before even announcing the event, he tweeted intriguing questions such as do you ever wish you could go back to prom? and have you been affected by breast cancer?, hashtagging Pink Prom at the end of the tweets. This created buzz about the event before it even materialized.
Be sure to take advantage of the doors opened through social media. Your event will thank you!