To my 10 year old self,
The realm of social media at your age is just the beginning. You’ll probably still be on your facebook, posting random pictures of yourself and updating your profile picture every week. You’re also probably still logging into MSN everyday after school and participating in these group conversations that you and your classmates called “Net Meetings”.
By the way, MSN will be obsolete by the time you’re finished high school so treasure it while you can.
You’ll soon find out as you continue to use your social media that it will become an outlet to express yourself. Though you’re naturally a reserved person, you find little ways that you can show to others online how you feel which is a great stepping stone in letting people in. That being said, you should be careful on the things you do put online as it can be misconstrued amongst your friend circle. There will be times where you’ll want to out someone on their behaviour and post a status about it without mentioning their name. Or, you would want to solve the disagreement you have with another person online rather than in person. I suggest that you try your best in trying not to do this because the issue will never get solved. Even if you do follow through in posting a status about someone, people will ask you what the problem is, but you’ll never disclose who it’s targeted at. With this into consideration, although confrontation is hard (and to be honest, it’s still really hard for me), it will always be better to have a conversation with that person. This matter will be especially prevalent during your high schools days. After school, when you come home and hop on to your computer to check your social media because you don’t have a phone. I know, you’re pretty frustrated that everyone of your friends has a phone except you and you’re going to have to bear with it for a while longer, sorry. But as I was saying, when you go online to see what’s going on, there will be a bunch of happy and playful posts amongst friends as well as some negative posts. You’ll find out that people will posts issues that are going on in their life but won’t disclose the full story to friends even if they show their concern.
In addition to putting out personal issues online, this brings us to the matter of posting Public Opinions. These topics can include personal views on events in popular culture or religious and political views. Social Media will become an incubator for conversations between people. Normally, people would be cautious in posting unpopular opinions. In the future, you will see these instances start to increase and become more prevalent to the point where it becomes part of your everyday life. There will be fights and posts directed to a certain group of people or individual without you even knowing it. You will find friends that are eager to jump in and say their parts and others that may even have a fall out as a result of opposing views. As you personally find social media as a way to express yourself, others will also use it as an outlet to express not only their personal issues but as well as their beliefs.
With the social media platforms that are available to you now, it may seem that it’s purely for social interaction amongst close friends and conversing with new people. However, there will be a time when all the social media platforms that you have will be bombarded with a bunch of advertisements. In your case, you will first start to notice it as you watch videos on youtube. Creators will start collaborating with companies and incorporate their products or services in their videos. At first it may seem subtle in which you don’t start to pay much mind to it. However, more and more videos from your favourite youtubers start adapting the same schematic into their content. As a result of this, you soon realize that they’re receiving monetary compensation for doing so. The description box below the videos that previously contained a playful message from the creator or a basic overview of the video now contains a load of affiliate codes for companies and products that have worked with them. This phenomenon will soon transfer to all other social media platforms that will later be developed. Popular social media platforms that will soon create a great impact in popular culture will include the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook (which you already have) and the dominant force of Instagram.
Businesses will realize that content creators who have a big social media following will have a significant influence in marketing that may be up to par with the influence of advertising in traditional media. A huge reason that plays into this is easy accessibility to the content and implementation of advertising. Because everyone will likely have a phone with unlimited data and access to the internet, the possibility of them being exposed to such is greatly increased, including you.
Spoiler Alert: You end up getting a phone in grade 11 with unlimited data
I don’t know if you’re happy about that since it’s a long time from now, but I was happy when I got it ‘#finally’ (you’ll understand what this means in due time)
Congratulations I guess?
Anyways with this in mind, it’s important to verify the validity of ads that you’re not completely familiar with and if what they’re selling is true. There will be a lot of fake companies and online personas that are just trying get money from individuals who don’t know better. Unfortunately, you will fall victim to one of these instances. You’ll likely end up getting a product that is lacklustre or utterly no useless for the price that you have paid for. But because of this, you’ll learn to be more skeptical of these advertisements and do research on the sellers before hand to prevent these events from happening again. There are good things that come with easily purchasing things though. It cuts down on investing time in going to a retailer which will open up time in doing other things.
Facebook posts, Snaps, Insta posts and tweets will be filled with advertisements. Regarding your avid watching of youtube videos, those products and services that have been subtly included in the video will become a separate clip in itself before or during the video. The clips can range from as short as 5 seconds to as long as several minutes. Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to skip it.
some of it at least.
With companies investing in content creators, their will be an abundance of individuals that will will abandon the traditional route of working for another business and pursue social media as a full time career. To much surprise, some are able to live comfortably and even start a family with all the financial benefits associated with their social media platform.
There’s no denying that social media is a force to be reckoned. Even as you start to add more platforms to your social media presence, you still want to maintain a private life. Having said that, with the huge capacity that social media can play into one’s life, business and professional practice, you should take into consideration implementing it to enhance your life in some way. As of right now I know you started developing an interest in the arts whether it may be for music or visual design. If ever you want to use that interest and formulate as a practice, social media is a great way to extend your reach in allowing people to recognize your potential. Once you’re a bit older you can start incorporating content that you want to share to not just your friends but to other people around the world. I can tell you that in your twenties you’re just starting a public social media account dedicated to showcasing your artistic practice. It may be daunting at first to have millions of people access your work, but it can be also enjoyable seeing the positive feedback from the content you put out.
10 years old might be too young to be honest. So at the moment, just enjoy interacting with your friends and creating memories together. You can worry about all of this once you figure out what you want to put out into the world. With all that I’ve said, you don’t have to make your account public right now. In fact, keeping it private is probably good for you. There’s no harm in creating two accounts dedicated to your private and public life, just don’t forget about one or the other!