Now that my final semester at BC is coming to an end (tears!), I cannot help but think about all of the things that I have learned here that I will take with me in the future and as I begin my career. Yes, I have read and analyzed the works of Plato and Aristotle, sat through science and history lectures, and somehow survived taking my mathematics core requirement (barely). As a political science major, I have written countless essays and read numerous books about the different government structures of countries around the world. However, it never dawned on me that this Social Media for Management class would be one of the most interesting, and probably the most useful course that I have taken at BC.
To echo many of the final posts that have already been written, I think it is safe to say that most of us have learned more about social media this semester than we expected. From our in-depth class discussions, weekly presentations, and guest speakers, my understanding of social media and its effects on our society and the business world has truly developed to a whole new level. Now, I find myself much more aware of how it affects my life on a daily basis. Looking back at my first blog post, I voiced my concerns about how we have become so addicted to checking our social media accounts and how this could have serious detrimental effects on our ability to communicate with one another. This class, as well as my research for my project on social media and its effect on the autistic community, has made me strongly reconsider these fears.
One of the major things that I have realized is that social media can be a huge benefit to all different types of people who do not always fit into the mainstream. Although many of us (including myself) are often troubled by the fact that so many people are now turning to online communication to socialize instead of in-person, I think it is important to realize that this can also be a good thing. As I explained during my presentation, studies show that people with autism actually benefit from computer-based communication immensely. Since social interactions are a major challenge for people with Autism, social media gives them the opportunity to socialize with others in a more controlled setting, where the pressures of the external environment are largely eliminated. As our society and businesses continue to become more digitalized, this could provide major opportunities for the autistic community. This article from Business Insider explains how companies like Microsoft are looking to hire people with autism because of the unique skills that they can bring to the workforce. I don’t want to delve into all the details from my project, but I mainly want to emphasize the fact that I have learned that social media and technology can truly have a strong positive impact on several different groups of people that I had never realized before taking this course.
There is no doubt that social media has become a permanent part of our lives, making us more connected to others around the world more than ever before. Something that has really resonated with me is the discussion that we have had about how technology and social networking has brought us back to a more intimate, and “small town” atmosphere. I think that there is a lot to be said for this, for I believe that I have remained much closer to the people in my life that I do not see as much because of platforms like Facebook. Furthermore, I think its amazing how we find out information about people in our network so quickly, like we would in a small community. There are definitely pros and cons to this, but I think its important to realize that social media is not necessarily making us less social, rather, it allows us to communicate and stay in touch with our close circle more easily.
Overall, I believe that it is important to be optimistic about how social media can improve our lives because it is most definitely here to stay. As I prepare to leave the BC bubble, I am comforted by the fact that I will be better able to stay a part of this great community because of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin. Etc. I love how social media can bring people together, and I am excited to see what it can bring us in the future. Thanks for a great semester prof. Kane and classmates!!