Initial Thoughts, Tempered Expectations, Greetings and Salutations

I’ll begin with a disclaimer: I once was really into using social media.

When everything was new and there was some coolness-factor, albeit minimal, in being a “First Adopter,” I learned all I could about each new social network, all the features of Facebook, and any app that I could install on my android phone. This social media boom began back when Donald Trump had a reality TV show and President Obama was just beginning his first term as President. In 2009 I blogged on Tumblr, tweeted as @erickaye, checked-in with Foursquare (I think), and liked what my friends had to post on the Facebook news feed.

For me, the Social Media bubble burst in early 2014. It didn’t go out with a bang as much as it just slowed down, before coming to a screeching halt. It was sad near the end. I mostly resorted to retweeting photos from Simpsons episodes.

Just when I thought I was out…

They pulled me back in.

Initial Thoughts:

But I want to be here for the following reasons:

  1. I feel old and out-of-touch. Before even going off the grid, I was becoming afraid of new technology. Best og luck to you if you think you can get me on Snapchat. My good friend, who is older than me, recently told me that when his kids are away at college, he keeps in contact with them through Snapchat. I don’t have kids… therefore that means I don’t need to use snapchat. Right? The valuable lesson is that I need to somehow learn, or get more comfortable with new technology again, before I run out of ways to communicate with people. And soon. Sad, but true.
  2. Spoiler Alert: I will use this class as an opportunity to present a social media strategy for a startup. Just because I am no longer as enamored with social media, doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn about it. This summer I interned for Nix, a wearable tech startup, and created their social media strategy from my own research. I need to continue this research through the fall semester and rely on feedback from the class. Yes, you! You can help determine which platforms work best for Nix and when Nix should go-live on these platforms.
  3. And finally, to share photos of my puppy.

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Tempered Expectations:

I have been asking myself a question since the first class. What if nothing cool happens in the world of social media this semester? Is that okay?

I have tempered my expectations for anything cool this semester. Or, maybe by lowering my expectations, I hope to be really caught off-guard when it happens. What do we want to see?

Cecil the lion? The Arab Spring? Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar Selfie? #Bringbackourgirls? University of Alabama Alpha Phi Sorority bid video? Simpsons photos? Grumpy Cat? Oreo Super Bowl 3rd Quarter Tweets? The downfall of The Fat Jewish? The NFL leaving out Tom Brady from their Super Bowl 50 Tweet?

For someone who doesn’t use social media much, I clearly have been aware of a lot going on the past few years. I still follow the news.

Interestingly, Twitter was once my first source of news. Now I read The Skimm, look through Flipboard, and set Google Alerts. I am also really into podcasts now. Sorry to go off on a tangent. One of my future posts will be about enhancing your Twitter feed to get the most out of your social media experience.

Sure, I would like for something cool to happen this semester. It would be great to discuss in class; however, how will we know that what we are talking about is really interesting and newsworthy? Prove me wrong and be something earth-shattering, monumental, so freaking historic and revolutionary we never knew it was ever possible. But then again, I am lowering my expectations.

Finally, I want to try a lot this semester. It’s not all the time that you enter the last year of your college life and the last year of your 20’s. Remember that.

Expect a lot more than Seinfeld clips (link below) and photos of my puppy, Haifa. I am getting back into this just as President Obama’s second term as President nears an end, and Donald Trump makes a run to be…well it feels like it is another reality TV show.

Greetings and Salutations, IS6621.

– Ericinclass

7 comments

  1. Great thoughts, Eric! I understand the urge to go off the grid. It’s difficult to balance the benefits of staying in touch with others versus the time and effort required to adopt new technologies. The speed at which new apps and developments are released is astounding.

    I’m interested in hearing more about Nix! Wearable technology is fascinating – functional and interactive. My main complaint about Fitbits and other wearables is that I don’t find them particularly aesthetically appealing. The Swarovski Shine line is one of the best wearable collections I have seen.

    I appreciate all of your current event references. Amazing how many “inside jokes” the Internet has. If you like Podcasts, you should definitely check out Serial. An amazing podcast that examines an old murder trial and analyzes the failures of the justice system in the United States.

    1. Hi Lauren! First thanks for reading my post! There was such a deluge of reading that I thought this post would get lost.

      I’m looking forward to sharing more about Nix. And I agree with you on your podcast recommendation. I’m anxiously awaiting the second season of serial!

      Check out Mystery Show or Radiolab. If you like great story telling in podcasts you’ll enjoy those as well.

  2. I can completely relate to your perspective! I too feel old and out of touch with the newest/latest SM trends that are considered “cool”. At the same time, I too will be looking to use SM strategies to the benefit of growing a successful business.

    I definitely think you need to lower your expectations as far as something historical and eath-shattering happening. I think that a lot of times, people only categorize negative events like 9/11 and the marathon bombings in this light. But consider the strange and telling trends that are happening around us, because those too (I think) will be historical and perhaps in a way earth-shattering in hind site.

    food for thought: Yik Yak and its effects on how college students express their inner most thoughts (thanks to the anonymity of it) or ISIS and what sort of consequences will come from the lack of US response / defense against their cult-like gathering of lost American souls on the internet.

    1. Thanks! First time I have heard of yik yak. It was mentioned in class right? I thought my hearing was off then.

      Glad you are able to relate to my post. We will need to compare notes about using social media for growing a business. Having a lot of early conversations right now with the startup I am working for and really enjoy tailoring the strategy so it makes sense for them.

  3. Awesome, genuine post. I see where you are coming from. However, I am in the midst of being a dedicated Early Adopter and keeping up with every social media platform and mobile app that comes out. Although it can be extremely overwhelming because it seems that a million cool apps come out every day, I find it interesting to see these apps and try to think about what the founders’ motives were in coming up with such an idea. With every new social media platform, there is a concept that started with someone trying to increase social interaction and enhance people’s relationships with each other.

    As social media may seem narcissistic at times, it serves as a place for people to understand each other and share what goes on in their lives with efficiency – especially Twitter and Snapchat, which are platforms for impulsive pictures and thoughts and tend to expose who people truly are. Obviously, this assessment could seem ignorant as a lot of people put on a facade through social media, but I feel as if the positives of social media and sharing severely outweigh the narcissistic, obnoxious uses that can easily be avoided. Aside from all else, social media (as you mentioned) is a great source for news and seems to be on top of everything that is relevant.

    1. Thanks for reading my post! Also enjoyed this comment. I agree that the positive impact of social media far outweighs the negative; however I still feel there are more negative posts than really positive uses. It’s people’s first stop to complain.

      I’ll be interested to read your perspectives on social media this semester!

  4. Great post Eric! I really enjoyed hearing your intentions for being in this class. It should be a great chance for feedback for Nix and I am eager to hear more about the social media strategy you’ve developed for them.

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