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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.