Flying through the air, graduation caps sway in the wind as the Class of 2016 ends its college journey and gets ready to begin a new chapter. In many ways this celebratory moment can be also a time of great prospection about what lies ahead; it can leave many students wondering about what new challenges they will have to face and what will happen to the numerous friends and professional connections they have fostered while completing their undergraduate degree. It may be hard to predict the challenges, adventures and situations that lie ahead, but one thing that can help us through this transitionary period is staying in touch with friends.
The best way to stay in contact with friends and past colleagues is to keep the lines of communication open and use available resources such as social media, email and texting to communicate. Along with social media, there are a variety of options one can use to converse with friends and keep one another updated on what might be new.
Starting with the trio that is most utilized at the moment, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, these social media platforms can all be utilized to share information with old friends. Using each platform in a specific manner can help to eliminate the chaos and make it easy to manage all the pathways of communication. Facebook can be best used by sharing pictures and major life events with others; these events could include jobs, relationships and even housing changes – all of which might change over the course of time. Facebook Messenger can also be used, as it is specifically designed to facilitate and promote communication; you can even send attachments, pictures, and even money on it as well. Pretty much anything that changes on a temporal basis can be thought of as Facebook appropriate material. Twitter should be primarily used for sharing opinions and finding quick news hits. One might be able to use this to comment on a specific issue and a friend might see it and start up a new conversation regarding that information or specific opinion. Twitter isn’t so much about conversing with friends – although that is an available feature – it is more about quick-hitting information that is usually an opinion on a specific topic; since posts are limited to 140 characters, thoughts are brief and concise. Last of the trio, Snapchat – this social media platform might be the best way to constantly communicate with others without having to initiate a “real conversation.” The simple act of sending a picture might be all it takes to let someone know that you didn’t forget them or that you want to quickly talk to them about whatever picture you may have sent. In fact, fourth-year NPB student, Nicole Dudaney, firmly believes “Snapchat is the best way to stay in-touch with friends because it is quick, easy, and personal”. With the new chat feature, this allows people to further elaborate on specific topics as well.
Aside from social connections, professional ones matter as well and can potentially affect future employment opportunities. Shreya Gupta, a fourth-year NPB major, elaborates on this by saying, “Professional connections are a key part of college and I use LinkedIn and emails to help me stay connected with others”. As far as email goes, most people use this to communicate – whether they are older or are graduating in the spring, everyone knows how to use this. LinkedIn may not be as familiar to some people but it can be thought of as a resume on wheels. It offers a professional sampling or snapshot to whomever views it and can be used as a great way to keep friends updated. It also shows job postings and experts in the field to help people looking for employment.
Whether it is for social or professional reasons, social media is a vital facet to staying connected and must be utilized properly to make sure connections are maintained. Good luck on the endeavors ahead and make sure to keep your friends updated every step of the way!