There is no doubt that social media has revolutionised the way we interact. Everything from applying for jobs to catching up with friends has shifted online. So why wouldn’t it be useful to use while you’re away? I’ll share the latest social media to help you make the most of your year abroad. Open a new tab, and get ready!
Facebook is in danger of becoming the latest Myspace, as more of us swap posting pictures of what we’re eating in favour of speedy 140-character updates. At first it may seem like a page of random thoughts, but judging by the number of us who appear glued to our phones, it soon becomes addictive. Twitter is most useful for getting information fast. By following friends, newsfeeds and *insert random celebrities* you can see what’s ‘trending’ locally and globally.
Skype – ‘Phone Home’
In the words of E.T. ‘phone home’, but Skype is slightly more technical than pointing your finger to the sky. The video calling service allows you to contact friends and family without running up expensive phone bills. You can add contacts; sort them into groups and share videos and websites. Think of an updated MSN messenger but with webcam. And best of all, it’s free. All you need is a good internet connection, so there’s no excuse for not keeping your family informed about every little detail of your year abroad.
Instagram – DSLR-it-up!
Instagram is fast becoming the ultimate photo-sharing website. Its many editing features give your photos a professional look by replicating the effects created by expensive DSLR cameras. Another plus of Instagram is that you can follow your friends to see their latest snaps, and share your own photos. So when you visit that gallery abroad why not ‘Instagram-it’?
Pinterest – To Aspire and Reminisce
If you’re deciding to go on a year abroad you’re probably a fairly organised person. In that case, Pinterest is your greatest ally. It’s a site that allows you to ‘pin’ articles, pictures, anything, and organise them onto virtual boards. It’s simple yet very effective. The boards can be private or public, and depending on your interests you can follow boards and ‘repin’ what you like. So whether you want to save handy travel blogs, or repin a picture of a place you’d like to visit when you arrive, Pinterest is a brilliant way to collate and sort information. Much better than storing it all in your head, right?
LinkedIn – Stay in Touch and Look Ahead
If you thought LinkedIn was only used by your university lecturers and past school teachers you would be doing the site a disservice. Joining LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with professional contacts you make while you are at university, on work experience or studying abroad, all of whom may prove useful in the future. It’s better to start building up your network now, while you’re at university, as opposed to tracking down potential contacts once you’ve graduated. The site is aimed at young professionals and allows you to advertise yourself accordingly (i.e. no embarrassing Facebook photos). You can join groups and forums that are related to your preferred industry and it also allows you to get recommendations and endorsements from contacts that can vouch for your skills. LinkedIn will help you match up to the competition and give you an insight to your chosen career path.
Now you’re all clued up on social media, why not get started?
In the meantime, share your favourite social media below!