How times have changed. No matter whether you love or hate social media it has changed our lives forever.

With a number of social media platforms available today, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn to name just a few, there is something to suit anyone who wants to connect!

2015 was the year that the ‘Instagram Husband’ was born. A tongue-in-cheek video that was created to highlight partners who are stuck miserably photographing their loved ones. The video has had more than 4.9 million views and many can relate to the video saying ‘That’s me! Or – that’s my husband!’ and that includes me!

Social media not only affects our personal lives but our work environment as well. Social is one fantastic platform to elevate your brand, interact with your customers and start business conversations. Many companies are now buying advertising space and budgeting this into their marketing plans, changing the way we do business. By 2017, social network advertising spending is estimated to reach $35.98 billion, representing 16.0% of all digital ad spending globally. bit.ly/1cwyiWg

A great example are the John Lewis Christmas adverts, in 2014 ‘Monty the penguin’ saw its hashtag mentioned 97,257 times within the first 24 hours. The 2015 ‘Man On The Moon’ was mentioned on social media nearly 40,000 times within the first few hours. There were 39,872 mentions of the ad’s hashtag #manonthemoon on Twitter, including mentions of the teaser hashtag #onthemoon. It was a talking point on all social media platforms and helped make the campaign very successful for John Lewis. bit.ly/1PhBZz0

Social can make a campaign go viral, one of my favourite campaigns #Likeagirl for Always hit over 60 million views on YouTube in 150+ countries. Always were in need to appeal to a next generation of consumers in the face of growing competition from rivals. The award-winning response was the Always #LikeAGirl campaign turned into a phrase that had become an insult into an empowering message.

In our personal lives it use to be very difficult to find and connect with people that you once knew in school or college. If you moved away you would lose touch with people permanently. Now with social media platforms such as Facebook and Skype, it is easy to reconnect even after a lot of time has passed. Some could argue this is not a good thing!

The question is…does social media do more good or harm? How much time do you spend on social media everyday compared with how much time you spend with your real friends or family? If you are anything like me, you check your phone regularly – first thing in the morning, during every ad break on TV and before you go to bed at night. But I am not the only one, the average person has five social media accounts and spends nearly 2 hours a day browsing these networks, accounting for 28% of the total time spent on the internet. bit.ly/1Ghui7C

Social media has changed our lives, I know that I wouldn’t live without out.