As Featured on News Cult: How to Manage Social Media

Social media is a weapon. It can be used for good or evil (symbolically speaking—because I have no idea what “good” and “evil” really are, and frankly does anyone? If the current state of the world, or actually any state the world has ever been in ever, is any indication, then no). It’s a fucking minefield—hard to navigate. It seems like it’s mostly used by people to promote images of themselves and their lives that are idealistic. And everyone buys into it—it’s a race to seem the best. And the saddest part is that we all know this—we’re all in on the joke, and yet we ferociously play along, trying to be the prettiest, the most popular, the happiest, the most well-traveled. It’s actually kind of sad, not to mention futile and self-destructive, so I’m a firm believer in finding productive ways to use social media, or not use it at all.

I think one of the best uses for social media is activism. It really is an amazing tool we’ve been given that we could use for vapid purposes like showing off how bangable we look on our way out for a night on the town, or how big our engagement ring is because the size of the diamond must be proportional to how lovable we are, or how we went on this really like spiritual, life-changing journey to India and saw just so many poor brown people and lots of sweeping mountainscapes—or—we could use to it advocate for social, political, and environmental causes—things that actually matter. Not just to us, but to everyone.

On social media, we can share news, articles, petitions, activist efforts, etc., about what dire circumstances our planet is in, how our political systems are corrupt and social injustice plagues our communities, and how we can change those things—how we can improve them. We can spread these messages like wildfire, and use the viral aspects of social media to the world’s advantage. Get out there and start discussions, engage with people, mobilize, and get shit done. Don’t just use technology and the Internet to self-promote and subscribe to materialistic, media-driven obsessions. Use it to spread the word about politics, volunteer opportunities, sustainable living; to debate with people about why Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve votes and Bernie Sanders does, and be told that you’re simply wrong, without any reasoning why, and then respond with a 500-word essay on all of the reasons, evidence, and facts to back up your stance, and then never hear back. Multiple times! The possibilities are endless.

Another way I think social media is advantageous is in creative pursuits. If you aspire to be your own boss, own a business, or create content, social media is a great way to promote and share that. Start a shop on Etsy and dedicate your social media accounts to building that business. If you want to be a photographer, writer, musician, or artist, etc., start your own website or blog so that you own your own content, and then use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to share it; (and a side note about photos—Instagram says it owns every photo you put on it, so consider copyrighting your photos on your own site and either not sharing them on Instagram or sharing “teasers” of them, like screen shots, partial shots, or watermarked shots).

There’s no better way to receive free marketing than social media. And eventually, you can even monetize your content via social media, by paying to promote your website on social media (and then hopefully making the money back and then some from the resulting traffic to your site), or selling ad space on your site after it’s gotten big enough through your promotion of it on social media, or working with other brands on social media to cross-promote each other.

Now, I won’t rule out the possibility of using social media to your advantage in slightly less admirable ways, too. I just don’t think it’s worth getting too wrapped up in the black hole of comparing yourself to others and putting on facades. But, should, say, your ex-boyfriend start posting pics of his new trophy girlfriend and professing his love to her in over-dramatic ways, or someone chooses to use the public forum to talk unnecessary shit on/around/about you, or decides to make the mistake of ghosting you, you are well within your rights to ruin their life, and use social media to do so. You can accomplish this by waging a campaign of #bomb selfies, posting a smart, tactful thesis that shoots down every aspect of their being without even mentioning their name (because we’re the motherfucking ghosts—smooth, sly, and you’ll never see us coming), or becoming super successful and everything they want to be but aren’t and posting nothing but positive things on your social media to convey this, leaving them to choke and drown in a pool of their own tears. #ournameisFeliciabitch #byeeeeeee

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/manage-social-media-like-pro/