The End to a Wonderful Journey

On the first day of class, I sat in my seat overwhelmed by the number of tasks we had to do for this course. Few months later, I am sitting here questioning myself and trying to remember how fast these past few months flew by. Throughout these couple of weeks I had learnt so much. I read a lot, was constantly updated with social media news, and most importantly I was able to understand how social media is being used in different ways across different parts of the world.

I loved everything about this experience. It allowed me to work on my knowledge and myself everyday for a few months. It allowed me to interact with my friends in different ways and most importantly it challenged me to be the first to search for social media news to spread them around.

Intro

What I loved most about this class was how it breaks the old traditional norms we used to have at school and in universities. I look back and remember how few years back I used to hide my phone and laptop in my bag, at school, afraid anyone from the administration would see it. When student laptops and phones were seen, they were taken and kept for a whole month with the student office as a sort of punishment. Today I am sitting in a class, which encourages mobile and laptop use. I am sitting in a class that embraces this change and encourages us as the future generation, to be constantly connected to the world around us. Social media is by far changing the rules of the game.

Throughout this class, I learnt so much about what social media really is. I was able to understand the scope of social media applications and the most interesting fact that stood out to me most was the fact that the reply all feature marked the beginning of the social revolution. Not to mention the Ted Talks that I looked forward to watching every week. Some Ted Talks really impressed me like the Justine Sacco incident or the Connected but Alone video too. I now know for a fact that social media has its disadvantages and if not used wisely, social media can definitely hurt us and affect our lives in a negative manner. I also know that we tend to form networks with and stick to people who are like us by nature. The readings we read in class were very interesting as well and I really enjoyed how each group was assigned a different article, so as to have knowledge about different topics each week. I mostly loved the guest speakers that came in to class and brought new knowledge with them; the last of which was the BC Social Media team. It felt great to learn about how universities are starting to engage in social media and how challenging the task may be. Blogging helped me discover a new passion too.

Final Thoughts Cover Page

But  my favorite part of all this was the Twitter discussion. Through these discussions I was constantly updated with everything happening on Social Media platforms. Through these discussions, I was able to v
oice my concerns weather about the Beirut Paris attacks, or about Mark Zuckerberg’s Fb donation to charity, or even about the new Periscope app too. Through this session of class we as a group were able to bring up interesting, informing, and new topics that we thought were worth discussing and talking about.

As our final week arrives, I am leaving this class with mixed feelings. I am happy that I got to meet and interact with many new friends and intellectual young students who will soon have their mark on this world. I am happy to have learnt a lot. And I am very grateful that I now know topics and news on social media I was never aware of before. But as happy as I am, I also feel sad that this journey is coming to an end. I would want to continue tweeting, reading, blogging, engaging and learning more and more about social media because it has become part of my life now. In the future, when new events are going to explode on social media, I will definitely look back and wish I was sitting there in that room in Fulton discussing the topic with my social media classmates.

Trying to gather all the lessons and final closing thoughts I have about social media is hard. But here are just a few of them.

  • Social Media will forever impact the world around us. Social Media platforms are definitely changing the way we do things, the way we interact, and the way we learn.
  • There will always be new innovations, apps and social media platforms. If an idea is good enough it will work. But with everything happening around, lifecycles of such platforms and apps are getting shorter so companies should continue to develop, improve and listen to customer needs to accommodate for flexibility.
  • Social Media is being used in different ways across different part of the world. Not only that, but each social media platform is being used effectively if for certain tasks. (Twitter for news, Instagram for following celebrities, and Fb for interactions and marking safe features)
  • People will always question social media and say i
    t does more bad than good. Social media has great advantages, but can also destroy our lives if it is misused. At the end of the day, it all depends on how we use social media to our personal best advanta
    ge. This is what matters.Goods and Bads
  • We will always have social media talks and events going on around us. The more we know about these social media news the more we are updated and connected with the world around us.
  • As much as we want to stay connected to others on social media, lets focus on face-to-face interactions and on conversations. Lets not let screens control us. Let us live the moments wisely and set our priorities clear.
  • There are many leaders out there we can look up to. Mark Zukerberg with Facebook, Brandon Stanton for Humans of New York and many of the Ted speakers have so many lessons to share with us and with the world so lets learn from them. Lets keep their talks and advice in our memories.

So what’s next for social media? That is the question. I used to think that social media is a buzz that we will soon get over. I used to think that people will soon get bored of social media, and will start to fear privacy and data concerns more and more. I used to think that with time this trend will come to an end and social media platforms and apps will all disappear. But now I know for a fact that social media is a way of life. Social media is here to keep us engaged, connected, and knowledgeable of everything happening around us. We should manage our social media use wisely to be in good hands. After all social media is here to help us and will stay so. Few years in to the future, I expect many new innovations. I expect each talented person to come to the world with a new idea and a new platform that will keep helping us as individuals better improve our lives.

Conclusion

It was a great experience being a part of this class. It was my pleasure meeting you all and I look forward to stay connected to you on social meda platforms so that all together we can make this world a better place. I am excited to read about your final thoughts too.

 

7 comments

  1. Assil, great post! I really like how positive you feel about social media, because I feel the same. Also, I like that you learn that even though this platforms can help us communicate and get knowledge about what is happening in the world, we also have to be careful how we used it, because it can come with great consequences as we learned in this class. But I totally agreed with what you said in your blog that we just have to be careful how we used it.
    I also agree with you about how great the format of the class is. Having the opportunity of having the laptops and cellphones out, makes the class more dynamic, because the students have the opportunity to look what its happening in Twitter or other platforms in real time, which helps with the discussion. I also agreed that the class format is really engaging and interesting. Having the opportunity to discussed what its happening in the social media world through Twitter, Blogs and in class, makes the learning experience more dynamic and fun. Its also great having the opportunity to hear other students point of views (from the haters of social media, to the fans).
    I like your post because it resonates of exactly how I feel about this class.

  2. Hello Assil, good post! I like your conclusion that social media is a new way of life. Just like you, I ever had the same opinion before taking this class that social media is just a fad and will soon fade away at some point. As a conservative, all I did was to keep away from all kinds of social media and wait for the moment to come. But now, I’ve realized that my previous understanding of social media is so biased and extreme: Social media is not just a intention to facilitate our lives, it’s a brand new lifestyle in the digital era. No one can promise that he/she will never engage with any kind of social media. you just can’t achieve that in the circumstance that we’re living now. As a result, the best way is not to avoid social media but to embrace and take advantage of it appropriately. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Assil – One part of the class I particularly enjoyed and one that you mentioned in your blog, was learning how social media is being used in different ways across different parts of the world. I thank you, @yanesval and @jenniekang specially for bringing a unique perspective on social media’s role abroad. I think this takeaway will be especially important if we work for multi-national corporations going forward. Additionally, I like how you mentioned leaders in social media like Zuckerberg and Stanton. In a similar vein, I learned so much from the Ted Talks and one goal I have as I enter the new year is to try and watch a Ted Talk a week. There is so much rich content and its a great way to stay up to date on thought leaders in industry. Thanks for your contributions – especially on the Twitter feed this semester!

  4. Really nice post. I agree with your takeaways. I – too – often feel a let down after the course is over, as social media seems like such an emptier place without #IS6621 in session. Feel free to tweet back to us in the future though!

  5. Thanks for being a part of the class this semester Assil! I loved hearing your presentation on how people in Lebanon use social media channels – I am continually fascinated by the different ways people across the world use social media. Most are essentially similar to how we use them, but with different cultural norms often comes different ways of using those communication channels.

    I’m also a bit sad to see the excellent discussions we’ve had in #IS6621 come to an end!

  6. Agree with @lakyaks – thanks for sharing good social media practice in Lebanon with us! Like Kaifu Lee said in his interview with me, social media isn’t just Facebook and Twitter. There are many other social media platforms that are thriving in other parts of the world that we are not even aware of. Thanks to @yanesval, I know that social media is the one place people can voice their political opinions. Unfortunately, that is not quite the case in China. I think these are all very valuable takeaways. As marketing professionals and brand managers, we should take this opportunity to learn and get inspirations for best practices on different channels and in different regions. For this purpose, I think the course has set up for a very strong start.

  7. rebeccajin06 · ·

    A wonderful reflection. I too have felt an emotional attachment to this class as it was a place to interact with classmates and learn so much about them through Twitter, presentations, class discussion, and especially blog posts. I have found the blog posts to be such an intimate and personal way to connect with those around us. It will definitely be something I miss about this class. I also really enjoyed hearing so many perspectives on social media whether these differences came from differences in age, ethnicity, location, etc. I think social media is a truly special thing because it can be a platform for so many types of sharing so quickly. In the past, if you wanted to express your opinion to a wide audience you would have to write a book or publish something in the paper and now we are just one phone click away from sharing any of our thoughts and beliefs with thousands of individuals. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us, a class that will absolutely be missed!

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