Living Online is a new feature written by our newest contributor, Kristina Payne! This article was originally published in the September/October 2017 issue of Timesharing Today.
By Kristina Payne
Millions of eyes are on social media every day. Many of those eyes belong to Millennials—people born from the early 1980s through the first years of the 21st century. This emerging generation is becoming a prime market for timesharing, but Millennials aren’t attracted by the timeshare industry’s traditional marketing, sales, and customer-relations techniques.
I am a Millennial. To connect with me and my generation, your enterprise has to be on social media in a significant way, individual to each specific resort or company and to each target consumer base. It is possible; it just has to happen on our terms—in the little spaces between our normal daily activities.
The first thing I do in the morning is look at my Twitter account. A lot of my friends do that, too. I find it’s to be a nice way to start my day. I like seeing what happened last night while I was sleeping, and it’s an easy way to get my brain started and ready to take on the day.
Twitter isn’t the only thing I check in the morning. My routine goes Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, shower, breakfast paired with some YouTube, makeup and hair while listening to music, and then starting some school work or regular work—whatever my day calls for.
Throughout the day
But that’s not the only place for social media in my life. I check between classes, at lunch and dinner, before bed, and just when I’m bored. There’s no rhyme or reason to when or why I check social media. I just use it. It’s part of my life.
I think social media enhances life in a way that normal interaction doesn’t. The internet has anything and everything you want to know and also access to any person you want to know about at any time.
If I want to know everyone’s opinion of the most recent news or product or controversy, I can go to any number of websites that will let me know what everyone thinks. I can also participate in a bigger discussion, and defend or change my opinion when listening to others. Social media is a great big constant discussion.
It’s a complement to normal life, too. I can be at school in Connecticut and still talk to my best friend who goes to school in New Jersey. I never have to feel isolated if I’m just sitting home alone. I can always talk and interact with people.
This has obvious problems. You can become so obsessed with online engagement that you ignore a physical social life. People can say terrible things online without suffering the same repercussions as t in real life. It’s a balance.
Most Millennials use social media to talk to real-life friends who aren’t physically in the same place. We use it to make plans, discuss homework, or any number of topics. The biggest way we all use social media is to connect and communicate with each other.
Online interaction has social norms and mores about that are vastly different from real life, and even different from website to website. The way I act on Twitter is not the way I act on Facebook. That’s the same in real life, too; the way you act at a party with friends is not the way you act at a family party.
So, what is each website for and how is it useful to you?
Facebook is the place everyone is on, from your favorite celebrity to your parents. You act a little nicer and more professional on Facebook.
Twitter is like a school hallway; you can post only 140 characters at a time, and it can be anything—nonsense, advice, a joke, political discourse—and anybody can chime in.
Instagram is where you post artsy pictures with cute captions; it’s where you go to make your life look better than it actually is.
Snapchat is where you post pictures of your actual everyday life. It has a nice dose of realism.
Other social-media websites include Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, and YouTube, but the four I mentioned are the really big ones that everyone will be on. These are free-to-use websites on which anyone and everyone will take part. Use them to your advantage.
Kristina Payne is a senior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. She also runs the TSToday social media pages! Go to our Facebook or Twitter to ask any questions you might have.