When I first got to Barcelona I had a weird feeling about what my semester was going to be like, however, it quickly took me by surprise. After realizing all the new things I will get to experience and do that weird feeling shifted to excitement. Social media is something that is extremely useful while being abroad. I already noticed that it will have a positive impact on my experience mostly because of all of the information it has to offer. For starters, social networks help me stay connected to my friends and family who are hundreds of miles away from me. In Social Media Use Among International Students, Holly Kathleen Hall and Thillainatarajan Sivakumaran explain how many students feel detached when they come to a new country – which is exactly how I felt when I first got off the plane (International Student Experience Journal).
Thankfully, websites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram help assure me that I won’t be missing out on anything while I am abroad. I am constantly seeing what my friends are doing which distracts me from the fact that they are hundreds of miles away from me. It allows me to stay in touch with my friends and family without having to actually communicate back and forth with them every day. By uploading pictures, which I am constantly doing, all of my friends will know where I am and where I go. Without having to stress about telling them everything that happens, I can post it online for them to see.
Social networks also allow me to connect with others who were studying abroad in Barcelona because I was always being invited to events through Facebook and GroupMe . That gave me the opportunity to meet others who were in the same situation as me. This was also extremely helpful when I found out who my roommates were because we all communicated with each other everyday and by the time I got to my apartment I already felt like I knew them for years.
Not only do I use social media to stay in touch with my family and friends but I also use it as a form of guidance. On my first day here when I had no idea where to go for lunch I immediately started looking on Instagram and just by typing #brunch I found pictures of a popular restaurant called Brunch and Cake. Based on the photos and reviews I decided to go there for lunch and was extremely satisfied with my decision.
Without social media I am unsure how my experience abroad would be. I do not think I would be able to get the full experience and am therefore extremely thankful for all the resources social media has to offer.