The internet is an integral part of their daily lives. They wake up every morning to the alarm of their smartphone, check their emails, and get on Facebook. Before heading outside, they check the weather. If they have time, they may even take an Instagram picture of their breakfast.
This is my generation.
Most of us were born in the late 80s to early 90s and are often referred to as either “millennials” or “Generation Y.”
Social media is important to us.
We use it to connect with our friends and loved ones, to find exciting career opportunities, and at other times, distract us from the task at hand.
Brian Stelter, a media reporter for the New York Times, visited my university campus recently and shared his definition of social media.
“Social media to [me] is Facebook, Twitter, and then all the rest.”
Stelter, not a millennial, does not see social media the way we do.
To us, social media is way more than just Facebook and Twitter. Social media is blogging, email, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and MySpace, to name just a few. Social media is embedded into every fiber of our being.
We young adults of the 21st century often feel overwhelmed by how much information is brought before our eyes every day. Stelton shared a few suggestions in hopes of overcoming this social media induced anxiety:
Take a break from social media every once and a while
Several semesters ago, one of my communications professors assigned a 3-day media fast.
I thought I wasn’t going to be able to handle it and that I’d probably cave-in within the first few hours of the fast.
I was wrong. The first few hours were the hardest, but then I was over it. I tend to schedule social media fasts into my calendar once in a while. I do this to disconnect for a few days, read a good book, and take deep breaths.
Don’t sweat about not seeing it all
As much as millennials out there that may feel the world is going to end if you do not see every status update, tweet, or pin that your friends do, rest assured there will be no doomsday apocalypse.
The important stuff will surface to the top
Building off Stelter’s point above, don’t worry if you don’t see everything.
From my own experience, information that is truly important and worth hearing about always comes to the top.
Are you a millennial or happen to know someone who is?
How do you or someone else overcome the anxiety that is often produced by social networks?
Image by Link Humans UK.
Ethan Parry is a public relations professional who is particularly passionate about social media and its impact on society. Tweet him at @ethanparry3.