To say that social media influences our lives is a bit of an understatement. Most people understand social media impact in terms of a more connected lifestyle and greater access to information, making life easier for all of us. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg because social media has found its way into every aspect of our lives, every domain and industry, to the point where we’ve become dependent on it. Right now, social media is everywhere and it’s here to stay.
Social media has a huge impact on people of all ages, races and social backgrounds and some find it hard to imagine how their lives would be if one day all of it would be gone. We’re not going to touch upon the pros and cons of using social media, as it clearly comes with both advantages and disadvantages, but we’ll take a closer look at the many ways in which social media influences and shapes the world we live in today.
Stats don’t lie
We can sit and talk all day about how social media has changed our lives, how it influences our choices and perceptions, but if we want to go beyond the surface with this topic, let’s start with some numbers. Here are some interesting statistics that will help you understand what’s really going on in the social media field:
- There are 3.5 billion people using social media in the world and the number is constantly increasing. Turn that figure into a percentage and you’ll get approximately 45% of the planet’s population. Now that’s what we call a massive trend.
- Amongst the many social media platforms, Facebook holds supremacy, with about 2.32 billion active users per month.
- Different generations show different levels of social media usage. Millennials have the lead with 90% active users, while Generation X has 77% social media users. Only 48% of Baby Boomers are active on social media.
- The average time spent on social media platforms by a person is 3 hours per day.
- 73% of businesses believe that social media marketing is an effective marketing method.
- When searching for a product, 54% of people turn to social media to do their research.
- 49% of customers base their purchases on social media influencers’ recommendations.
- 91% of people who are active on social media use mobile devices to access it.
The above figures give us a clear picture of the undeniable power social media has in today’s society. But to go even further into details, we must also look at the various areas in which social media has the biggest impact.
How We get the News
We used to wait for the evening news or switch to the news channel to learn about what’s going in the world. Now we can hear all about the latest events on social media, a second after they happen. You’re more likely find all about a breaking news from a social media post from your friends, than from a TV or radio network. Even TV channels use their social platforms to spread information and attract viewers. 40% of millennials rely on their smart devices to get the latest updates, therefore social media has become one of the most reliable sources of information.
How Businesses Operate
Starting a business today is much easier than it once was and entrepreneurs have social media to thank for it. Businesses can find potential investors, partners and recruit team members by joining different social media groups and networks. But what’s even more important, social platforms offer the possibility to promote a business, reach a wider audience and gain new customers through social media marketing techniques. Many small businesses and startups rely on social media marketing exclusively, as a way to promote their products and services.
How Politicians get their Message Across
The political landscape has also been greatly influenced by the rise of social media. Many parties use social media platforms to voice their opinions and get their messages across to target audiences. Politicians realized that social media platforms represent a powerful tool for airing their views and candidates nowadays rely heavily on the online campaigns run by social media specialists.
How We Communicate
Never before has it been this easy to communicate and keep in touch with each other. We can connect with people that have similar interests to ours, no matter which part of the world they are from. Social media has broken down time and distance barriers, bringing us all closer together. We have countless ways of communicating and sharing our experiences right at our fingertips, from text messages or video-calling apps to voice messages or image sharing.
What and How much We Share with the World
Social media allows us to share pretty much everything with the rest of the world, in just an instant. This has completely changed privacy standards. People feel the need to post constant updates with the most mundane things from their lives. You can find out what your neighbor had for breakfast this morning or where your childhood friend that you haven’t seen in decades is spending his holidays with a quick check of their Facebook or Instagram profile.
How We Explore the World
We can now learn everything about everything with minimum effort. Nothing is out of reach thanks to social media. We no longer need to go to the library or watch a documentary to find out how life is beyond our limited social circle. We are able to explore distant cultures and see how life is at the other end of the earth, all through social media.
How We Manage our Love Lives
Everyone knows at least one couple whose love story began online. Modern fairytales start with once upon a time on social media, since meeting your soulmate on social media platforms has become quite common these days. Instead of approaching someone at a social event, some people simply prefer to swipe right on Tinder, for example, until they find their one and only.