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Get social media to build you, not break you

The online life: Social media has been praised as much as it has been criticised. Taking the praising route, there is a lot young people can do with social media to improve their lives. Ian Ortega shares some tips on how this can happen.


Roughly a decade ago, social media was yet to take off in Uganda. And when it did, it was with Facebook, by then, a platform for bringing together lost friends, former schoolmates and workmates, to mention but a few. Fast forward, social media is now a human need. The new sneeze is the phone check that sees everyone’s head tumbled into their phone screens. But is there more to social media? How best can a young person today make the most out of social media?

Personal Brand
Beyond everything, it all starts with a personal brand. And a brand is nothing more than your story. For the first time ever in history, everyone is having a chance to write their story in real-time. This means for young people today, there is no better moment in history where the ground has been levelled and everyone given a chance to take a shot. Personal branding will come down to the basics as simple as how one communicates while on social media. Although we do not see physical bodies while on social media, it is important to remember at the end of the day that there is a real human being on the other side.

Therefore, there’s a set of values one is expected to uphold while on social media. Is it worth it going on an assault against another individual? When one is early on in their career, they ought to be careful which bridges they burn. Who knows, the person you have called a fool on social media will be sitting on your job panel tomorrow?
A personal brand also comes down to simple things such as one’s profile photo, one’s posts, and the ability to use one’s real name on social media. There’s no point creating a Facebook profile with the name; “Laavu Nigga”. And as they often say, networking comes down to value. When your Facebook timeline communicates value, it will attract value. In your friends’ list are company CEOs, social media has brought them into your close vicinity.

Business LaunchPad
There has not been an easier time to start a company than in the time of social media. As such, any young person can make something off their talent or business skill.
It does not take so much for a talented young rapper or artist to be discovered today. All it takes is uploading photos of their art pieces on Instagram and a client will be knocking on the door. One need not have a physical location to advertise any product they are selling.
Social media has become the new market place, every social media post can be an advert. So why not upload a shot video of your hustle? If you believe you can sing, upload a teaser and let social media be your audition platform.

Learning Hub
Even more important is that social media has become a learning hub. To imagine that every second, someone is sharing something that you previously had to pay to access. Take Twitter for example, wherewith one tweet, one has access to most CEOs in the country.
And these CEOs are sharing something of value every day. It is a real-time brain-picking. LinkedIn is another learning hub. As one man, Naval Ravikant often says, “in the age of social media, information is abundant, it is the desire to learn that’s scarce.”

Social media can thus be seen as a canvas and young people as the painters. They have the ability to paint any world they desire. With Facebook Jobs and Linkedin Jobs, one need not look so far.
There’s no bigger networking platform than social media. A young lawyer today has access to all lawyers around the world with just a click away. In the end, social media is what we all make it.

School of Life event

This is one of the topics that will be discussed at the School of Life Event taking place on December 4 at Isbat University, starting at 9 am. Time is 9 am-12 pm for adolescents and 4 pm-8 pm for mums and dads. Fee is Shs50,000

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