Dear Social Media,
It is unbelievable that this semester is almost over! During my time in the US I learned a lot and made tons of new friends. One of them is you. So, as a farewell present, I decided to write down our story to make the memories last forever.
We knew each other vaguely before (you were introduced to me as “Facebook” or short “FB). Your talent was astonishing: You were the perfect partner for a long night’s talk, you enabled me to show the virtual world, who I am and what I like. You did not draw me from my friends, but you brought us closer together.
But as in every relationship, daily routine lets the initial fire burns down quickly. You and your talent became a natural part of my life and did not get enough appreciation. I often only saw your negative and annoying sides. Now you may ask, “What is annoying about me?” It’s nothing personal, but I would recommend you reading Joey’s blogpost about the ways people make you annoying. Negative sides include the way you treat my privacy – or more precisely: how you let other people treat it.
Then Prof. Kane came. He was the couple therapist with the shining MacBook. He made me look deeper into the topic and discover your many-sided character. Especially your ability to improve companies’ performance. I knew that private individuals do a lot of self-marketing with your help and that you also offer space for businesses to do the same. However, I was surprised by the fact that operational management can profit from your usage as well. There your wonderful key characteristic is crucial again: facilitating communication.
The thing I started to love more and more the bigger the amount of examples got, was your power to bring people together to achieve a common goal. May it be just spreading information and knowledge or creating a better world, like political movements try to do. “Engagement” was one of the words of the semester (the one was probably “snow”). For companies customer engagement and employee engagement are the two kinds with which most value can be created. As I mentioned above, dear Social Media, you are great in bringing friends together, but also colleagues and people who are on different levels of the production chain or even the hierarchy (a “thumb up” for an idea on your internal version can be more appreciation for their work than lots of employees ever got from their bosses – pure motivation can be the result).
Even before our relationship I was aware of the problems you can cause when your ever-evolving collection of pictures, posts, etc. do not show a serious and all nice picture of me. Fortunately, our peaceful togetherness has never been disturbed by a crisis, where suddenly my boss, for example new first-hand how I looked last Friday night. And I hope that this will stay this way – and yes, I know, I have to take responsibility for maintaining this desirable situation as well. We have seen enough examples of how bad it can end (e.g. #hasjustine…).
Even if we have a closer relationship now – thanks to Social Media for Management and its requirement to deal with you on a deeper level – I have to say that my skepticism is not all gone (even though the initial fire could be emblazed again). When you were gone for one day (you know, combining phone and water has never been a good idea), I was completely lost. No one could help me to connect with my friends as you. That is sad. You know you are great, but you cannot replace real human interaction. Imagine, ISYS6621 would have taken place only on Twitter – weird, eh?
Don’t worry, I won’t split up with you after the semester is over! Too many things have happened (finally I am on Twitter, I even downloaded Snapchat two days ago). I was taught how to use all your wonderful characteristics to improve the image and efficiency of businesses and to be aware of and avoid your dangerous sides.
All in all, I learned to love you more and to see more of you than just the one who makes my words heard and pictures seen.