I think many people are too quick to poo-poo social media as being a total and complete waste of time, but I beg to differ. On some sites, like GaG, there is definite value to be had if you put the efforts into getting the most out of it that you can. Here are five awesome uses for GaG.
1. Practice the power of persuasion
It's easy to get into an internet fight over the topics and takes on GaG, but why not use GaG to actually work on your powers of persuasion. If you have valid points, use them to try to actually change someone's mind. You might not 'win' and get them to do a complete 180, but you can often get people to see your POV. You aren't going to make that happen though if you just go in with the mindset that you are going to argue back and forth and name call. No one responds well to that, but rather if you are rational and break down your points and open your ears to listen to the other person as well, you may very well be able to persuade them to see things your way.
2. Become a better writer
If you struggle with writing, GaG is a great way to practice those skills by writing takes. You're never going to get better at something simply by not doing it or practicing it. Really push yourself to put up a few takes a week so you can get feedback. It may not be on your writing per se, but with the responses, you can tell when something you've written really resonates with people. If you're not getting a lot of views or comments, invite your friends in and out of GAG, to give you some of their honest feedback from time to time or even show your teachers if you're still in school.
3. Use it to help you cope
Whatever you are going through in your life---depression, addiction, loneliness, illness, stress, death in the family, break-ups, loss of job, etc, use GaG as an outlet. Talk to people on here. Everything you are going through, I can almost guarantee 50 more have gone through the same things, if not worse than your own situation. It really helps not to keep things bottled up to the point where you feel you're losing control, and even if you are, talk about that. Get to know those who are going through the same things or have been through them. They can give you advice or private message you, so that you don't have to feel so alone.
4. Become a mentor
There are a couple well known GaGers who are well known because they often give strong solid advice or help. Many members trust that when they get a response from these people, it's going to be helpful or constructive in some way. They also like to read takes by them because they know they'll get some new insight on a topic. You can become a mentor just by being a present positive force throughout the GaG community. Sometimes we may not have a voice out in the real world, but GaG is full of those same people that exist out there, in here, who are clamoring for help and advice from those willing to give it and share their experiences and thoughts. If you are also a retiree who may not get to see a lot of people anymore or you don't have a lot of family or family of your own, being able to continue to mentor can be very helpful for you.
5. Use it to help gain a better understanding of social media
If you are someone keen on setting up a business online or a blog of your own or some other website, you can learn a lot by studying the very sites you're using. Follow the patterns because they are definitely there if you look. Look at the popular posts and the people consistently posting them. Look at the content and the number of posts or likes for certain materials. Look what pictures grab the most attention. If you are really invested in a particular subject on GaG, focus on that and what does well there because it may help you in your own venture.