When most people think of social media, they think of it as a source of entertainment, where they can watch a funny video on Facebook or follow a comedian’s jokes on Twitter. What some people don’t realise is that while social media does entertain, it also does so much more than that.

When I discussed the idea of an infographic on the ways people use social media, some thought it would be a foolish project, because they believed the only uses for social networks were inane and superficial. But once I dug a little bit deeper, the skeptics became believers, and everyone involved saw just how deeply and differently social media had entrenched itself in our lives.

It doesn’t make sense to think of social media as websites to visit. It is better to think of social media as a vibrant and dynamic community of a diverse set of people that just so happens to exist on your computer. So while some stubborn folks consider Facebook and Twitter to be inane and boring, we think people should embrace it.

As the infographic below shows, these social networks aren’t just for entertainment. They are also for finding jobs, or finding your soul mate, or staying apprised of current news and events, or even networking with old friends who you haven’t seen since grade school. And the list is going to keep on growing.

There is no doubt now about the staying power of social media. On a daily basis, millions of people across the world are using social networks and media for a variety of reasons and the number of people involved is growing exponentially.

A few years ago, Facebook was exclusively for students in college. Now, if your parents aren’t on Facebook, you must have been living underground for the last five years and you might as well create a Facebook profile and Twitter handle for your dog Scooter just in case he is in the market for some new friends.

Some might think I am being facetious, but I would bet plenty of you know someone who has created a Facebook page or profile for their dog. It sounds absurd, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that trend became commonplace down the road. That is the power that you can harness with social media.