Thanks to social media, it has been made for college students to connect with people in the real world for professional purposes. 

“LinkedIn is the reason I got my first internship,” Haley Meyer, a fourth-year business administration student, said. “It is the only social media platform I use professionally. I’ve shared my work achievements on and off-campus, and I check it from time to time when I’m looking for internship opportunities or full-time positions after graduation.”

However, Kayla Britt, a third-year secondary math education major, uses a different social media platform to get herself noticed by potential employers.

“I have used Indeed to upload my resume for summer internships and for future employers to know I am in college and eventually will be looking for a position,” Britt said.

Social media does not only benefit college students who are able to put personal portfolio work online for future employers, companies and other organizations are also fortunate enough to have deepened relationships with consumers. These relationships can keep businesses involved in the lives of consumers due to the increased interaction between the business and the consumer, creating a two way street of communication, according to Hoot Suite’s 23 Benefits of Social Media for Businesses.

“LinkedIn is the reason I got my first internship. It is the only social media platform I use professionally.”

— Haley Meyer

“Social media is how businesses stay connected to their consumer, and gauge what they want and need from them,” Meyer said. “If a business is able to keep up with social media and use it to their advantage, this definitely puts them ahead of their competition.”

Not only is social media used in a professional standpoint, but college students have social media platforms for personal use. According to the Pew Research Center in their June 2019 social media fact sheet, seven out of 10 adults like using social media to keep up with those whom they do not see on a daily basis. 

“I personally use social media to stay connected with my friends and family,” Meyer said. “I love social media and think it’s fun to be on, but I also have to disconnect from time to time to give myself a break.”

Graphic by Annika Wall.

A few social media platforms that are extremely popular among college students and help them with staying connected to people are Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Facebook is not as popular with 18 to 24 year-olds in comparison to platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, according to Pew Research Center’s Social Media Use in 2018.

However, some college students may be overwhelmed with too many social media accounts, like Britt. 

“Contrary to most of my peers, I only have Snapchat and TikTok,” Britt said. “The short videos and stories help me keep up with some of my friends from high school and take my mind off homework.”

There are advantages and disadvantages of using social media. Social media can be helpful in terms of making it “easier to advertise products, events and programs,” as well as helping “inform and prevent the medical issues,” according to Mangalmay. 

On the other hand, people can make mistakes on social media that can result in serious consequences further on down the road.

“One big thing college students need to understand is that what is posted on the internet can get passed around and end up in the lap of a future employer,” Britt said. “You don’t want to lose a job or an opportunity from something you posted in college.”

From a more personal point of view, social media can take a toll on one’s mental health.

“If you’re on social media, you’ve probably played the comparison game when looking at others photos or social media in general,” Meyer said. “This is the biggest drawback of social media in my eyes. Social media is a highlight reel of everyone’s life, and although it’s one of the best creative outlets and distractions out there, you need to keep in mind that people typically only post the ‘good stuff.’”

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