Most people who use social networking sites will have one of “those” friends; the friend who constantly updates his profile page. You, along with everyone else on his friends list, know every little humdrum detail about his life, from the color of his socks to what he had for dinner. Sometimes the frequent updates are entertaining, but more often than not they’re insufferable. It can quite often seem that social networking sites give us nothing more than unimportant detail. Even so, such sites aren’t just for the people who share too much information.

Social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have made it easy to keep in touch. Users can find friends that they haven’t had contact with in years. Social media lets us interact as much or as little as we want. An increasingly large amount of social interaction is now occurring online. For families that live far apart, social media has made keeping in touch easier than ever. In the past we’d send photos via mail, the photos took days to develop and days more to send. Even e-mail required entering the address of each recipient and took time. We can now share photos with all of our social media contacts at once.

Social media sites are also a brilliant way of discovering up and coming businesses. It’s simple and effective for businesses to promote themselves on sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and an increasing number of businesses are doing this. After all, this is where the customers are. By setting up on social media sites, businesses can ensure that they are kept in the forefront of our minds by regularly popping up in our newsfeed. We, as users of the sites, can keep in touch with the latest news about our favorite products and companies. Often, on these sites, companies will be promoting exclusive coupons, and giving early notice of sales and new products.

Social media also lets us interact with businesses in a new way. Never before has it been so easy to interact personally with a company. From discussion boards to social media parties, we get to know the people behind a business. Real time interaction lets us ask questions and get answers. Social media lets customers and businesses build a meaningful relationship with one another.

It’s easier than ever before to connect with people who share your interests and opinions. Social networking sites enable people to come together from all over the world to talk about common philosophies, interests and goals. Your world is now a lot bigger thanks to social media.

Networking in the old days used to be an awkward business. You’d go to a conference and exchange business cards with someone. Usually, you’d never get around to giving them a call; even worse, if you did, your clumsy opening line: “I met you once at…” would be met with a complete lack of recognition at the other end of the line. In today’s aggressive business environment, networking is even more essential. Luckily, social media has made it much easier to network with business associates. It’s simple to send a friend request. By using your smartphone, you can add to your network before the conference has even finished.

Above all, social media is convenient. It’s accessible from smartphones, computers and tablets. It enables us to stay in touch with all the different groups of people in our life, from family and friends to business acquaintances. We can interact as much or as little as we like, and interactions can often be less stressful than face-to-face exchanges.

Social media has changed the way we interact with one another. You may end up sifting through posts about “that friend’s” breakfast, but the benefits outweigh the minor annoyance. There’s never been a better time to stay in touch. Social media makes it easy.