A Love Letter to Social Media

Jamie Clarkson | Social Media Manager | jc063415@ohio.edu

I love social media. Ever since the days that I used the built-in camera on Instagram, I have cherished the feeling of being connected to the world. It was nice to know that I was anything but isolated in my little corner of the universe.

My love of social media has recently become sentimental. Beginning in June of 2018, I took over the position of social media manager for FANGLE Magazine.

Before, I never thought that these apps on my phone could one day become a career. When I realized I could have a future on these platforms without being photogenic and mildly interesting, I was hooked. I was never influencer material, anyway.

Now, Twitter polls, Facebook shares, and page views look very different. Not to say that memes have lost their luster, I still spend my free time laughing at childhood photos of Cardi B. If anything, these inside jokes mean so much more. I now appreciate the strategy it takes to go viral. Or, maybe the lack of strategy. Sheer dumb luck is admirable, too.

Where I find wonderful things online, I also find my pet peeves. The standout being the resurgence of the “RT in 5 seconds or else” trend. While I try to formulate how I can get more engagement for FANGLE and being happy with a dozen clicks, I am watching strangers on Twitter share photos of spiders and instantly getting thousands of retweets. Sheer dumb luck may be admirable, but, it is also endlessly frustrating.

We all love social media for the same reason we hate it: things explode for no reason. Why was In My Feelings by Drake the song that everyone decided to dance to outside of the car? Who knows, but who cares? That is why we loved it.

The summer of 2018 made me recognize all the reasons I loved social media in the first place.

When Instagram released the “Ask Me a Question” feature for their stories, I felt like I was drowning in Q&A’s. However, as I sit back and watch the popularity, I realize this is the type of light-hearted communication that made me love the platform initially.

With the institution of 280-character tweets, I see that Twitter is trying to make their platform more user-friendly and conversation-driven. As users, we now have more freedom to share fully formed thoughts without being cut short. We say goodbye to the 140-character limit, but we watch trial-and-error work in our favor.

I spent a fair amount of time this summer on social media. I was constantly wrapped up in strategy and worrying about what was good or bad. I was nervous that this work would turn me away from something I always felt a connection to. In the end, it just made it that much more special.

Social media—I love you.