Final thoughts on Social Media: It’s not so scary

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.

I LikeThere 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.

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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!!

7 comments

  1. Great post! It truly is amazing how social (and technology) has allowed people (disabilities or not) flourish and communicate better than before. Having a social network makes someone feel as though they are always surrounded by friends and loved ones even if those people are far away. It’s also allowed users to engage in conversations they might not have otherwise participated in or discover their passions and pursue new careers.

    Good Luck as you venture out to to the real world!!

  2. I enjoyed reading your final reflection and listening to your presentation in class. There is good and bad with everything but when I focus on the positive (helping people with disabilities) then it becomes extremley clear that the positive out weighs the negative in the case of social media.This class has also opened my eyes to how social media and technology is making the world a better place everyday. I am also leaving the BC bubble and moving away from all of my friends so it reassuring that I still have social media to help me stay connected.

  3. meganvtom · ·

    I really enjoyed reading your final post! My experience with the class has been very similar, in that I started out with concerns of how addicted we seem to be to our social media accounts, but that over the course of the semester I’ve really come to appreciate the benefits of social media. I’m graduating this month as well and its comforting to think that even from across the country, social media will play a big role in helping me keep in touch with friends from BC. I hope that this “small town” intimacy will make it seem like I’ve never left. So many tears!

  4. Great post, Emily! I really appreciated all of your research done for your presentation and that you mentioned more pros of social media with regard to the autistic community in this post. I have many family members with different disabilities as well as a passion for therapeutic riding programs, so hearing all of the technological advances that have made children with autism more accessible to business and teachers alike makes me really excited for what the future may bring. There are also many different apps that are benefitting the autistic community’s communication and organization, helping to raise money for awareness and a search for more information on just how autism arises in adults and children alike. I would love to discuss this more in class, well done!

  5. You ladies are making me nostalgic! Finishing college was definitely heartbreaking when leaving so many amazing people and experiences on campus. Although graduation was so bittersweet, I have to give you hope. I have been out of college for years and still talk to my good friends from college constantly. I know every situation is unique, but I am lucky to say that I live within a mile from two of my girls and see college friends at least once a month. You still have amazing memories, just with more funding, let’s say (haha).

    In regards to your reflection, I absolutely agree how this class has given me more faith in social media. Where it is easy to view social as self-serving, we have seen too many examples to believe that. Your Autism presentation was a favorite this semester, shedding light on an amazing story of social media improving lives. Thank you for all your contributions, Emily!

  6. I agree that we need to stay optimistic about the prevalence of social media in our lives. You’ll soon learn that upon graduation staying connected to the friends who were once all on the same campus can be really hard! Thank god for social media or else I wouldn’t know anything that’s happening in the lives of my roommates living in different cities now. I also second the above comment about how great your presentation was this semester. I learned something totally new about how social can be a helpful way for people who have trouble with traditional communication! It definitely improved my view of social because that is such a concrete examples of how it improves people’s lives!

  7. Great post! The portion where you say, “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,” really resonated with me. After watching the 2 videos for class week, it is apparent that this is a heavy debate that many feel strongly about. I personally, agree with you because I believe we are able to communicate and collaborate in way we had only dreamed of in the past prior to social media. And guess what? There is only more to come…that is the most exciting part! Like you, I am interested to see what comes next and thank this course for opening my eyes!

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