People constantly patronize millennials for being “glued to our phones.” We are referred to as the “lazy” generation because we take too many selfies and don’t contribute to society.
These stereotypes are damaging. Generation Y is so much more than that. In 2015 alone, Facebook helped create 1.1 million new jobs in the United Stes, and added $100 billion to the economy, according to a Facebook-sponsored study conducted by Deloitte.
Employers are creating positions such as bloggers, digital marketers and web designers due to the reach of social media platforms, and this is just the beginning. While millennials may obsess over Instagram profiles and Snapchat stories, many do great things with social networking as a distinctive professional asset.
Millennials use social media to build their brands, something the youth of America couldn’t do 15 years ago. Ninety-three percent of marketers say that using social media is essential when advertising their businesses. Through sites like Facebook and Instagram, individuals can promote themselves and their businesses to reach people all over the world.
Take social media tycoon Claudia Oshry. She was a student at NYU when she received a fashion PR internship. She soon decided that career track wasn’t for her.
That’s when she started her blog and accompanying Instagram account featuring pop culture and makeup tutorials, which she has turned into steady income. Her Instagram page now has more than two million followers, making “@girlwithnojob” practically a household name.
Her success story demonstrates that with social media, users can market anything with the right target audience. There are so many different creative areas to hone in on, whether it be a makeup blog, a “foodstagram” or a comedic YouTube channel. It is much easier to make a name for yourself nowadays. All it takes is the right audience to recognize talent and originality for a career to develop.
Contrary to popular opinion, social media has improved our socialization. When you can easily see common interests from Facebook and Instagram posts, or send a silly snap, it is a way to remove awkwardness at social gatherings and feel more familiar with each other. It is also easier to continue conversations and keep in touch with people you’ve just met.
My advice to millennials? Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re a lot smarter than people believe, and we are powerful because with social media, we have the world at our fingertips. Literally.
Nicole Macias is a freshman majoring in English.