A Final Note To My New Friend

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.

– Johanna

10 comments

  1. I really enjoyed this creative post Johanna! I very much enjoyed your comment on using SM to gather people together. This is one of my favorite aspects of social, it get crowds of people who share the same interests or the same goal, almost instantly. It’s also crazy to see how connected we really are to social, your comment about losing your phone struck home with me. It’s crazy that now, a day without Twitter, Facebook, or any SM feels…empty? That may be an over exaggeration, but we really are connected now for better or for worse. Great post.

  2. This is a nice summary of our relationship with SM and in this case, FB :) I would call is a LOVE hate relationship, there are problems underneath but there are so much more in SM that makes our life attach and evolve with it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love it! What a creative angle. Thx for a great semester.

  4. What a great way to end the semester – thank you for that Johanna! I loved the story aspect of the post and the way in which you paralleled Prof Kane to a couples therapist. I also felt that he repaired my lengthy relationship with Twitter, which I had started using nearly SEVEN years ago and felt it lost it’s purpose for me. I feel entirely different now and look at it through a new lens. My skepticism is also not entirely gone though and I feel as though spending too much time on any electronic device leads to problems, but I think we all learned how to use those social channels a little better thanks to Social Media for Managers. So glad you enjoyed the class as much as me!

  5. Great post! I love the creative voice you channeled in the assignment, I think it came across really well. I have had a very similar experience to yours with my social media usage, so I liked how you talked about your experience with Facebook first and then other social media sights utilized through the class. I also think that your open letter to social media style blog post draws attention to the emotional attachment that we have all experienced with our various social media accounts and the people that we interact with on them. Really nice job, thanks for a great semester!

  6. Great creative post Johanna! Absolutely love it! I too feel like the relationship I have with SM is like yours, its a never ending love/hate relationship. It is very interesting to see how you have never used snapchat and in this country, it is amongst the most popular social media outlets there is. I loved how you mentioned that your phone was damaged with water and you didn’t have access to SM to interact with your friends back in Austria and to me it struck me dearly. I am always on SM because it is a “tool” for me to overcome the physical barrier of being away from home, away from my family and my long time friends. I agree with you that it will never replace actual human interactions. Really loved your writing and I hope your semester here had been an amazing one and that you have many fond memories to take back home with you (or on Facebook)!

  7. Awesome post Johanna! Like you, this class has reinvigorated my relationship with social media. I have started to use platforms that I never thought I would use, and I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the power of social media. I like your point about when you broke your phone. I don’t think I would know how to interact with friends without social media. Imagine a world where social media does not exist. I can’t imagine it. It has become ingrained in all of our daily lives and we rely on it for so much of our social interactions. Thanks for the creative post – it was a good read.

  8. Alyssa Frey · ·

    Johanna, your post was incredibly creative and well-written, similar to your contributions to the class this semester! Your in-class presentation is one of the only ones I remember (sorry, guys) & was one of my favorites. I too felt like this class changed my perspective on SM and made me remember why I love marketing so much. Take advantage of all the time you have left in the US, and have a safe trip home!

  9. This is awesome! I love how you personalized social media and described it as being in a relationship because it is so true! Social media really is a relationship that we engage in every day from all different angles, whether it be on twitter, Facebook, linkedin, etc. You did a great job humanizing this relationship that we all have with social media, highlighting the good things and what makes us frustrated. This relationship, like all others, requires work and dedication. I was definitely not willing to put in all the work before I took this class, but now I realize how much I can really get out of it if I put in a little more effort each day and try to stay up to date with everything. Overall, great post, I can totally relate!

  10. I really like this approach to writing a letter to social media. Also I’ve really enjoyed sitting next to you in class :). Anyways, my favorite point that you made is “I was surprised by the fact that operational management can profit from your usage as well.”. I agree with this. I knew of the indirect profits associated with social media, but we have definitely learned about direct profit streams. It’s also very interesting to hear your perspective as someone who is abroad and as someone who is not that into social media. I feel like many students in the class were very social media savvy, so it is cool to see you got some of the same takeaways as I did (someone who was on every social media before this class). Again, I really enjoyed your post and hope we cross paths again someday!

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