If I remember correctly, I came into this class cynical about social media. Although social media can be extremely beneficial and have improved society significantly, for some reason, the dark side of it always made stronger impressions in my mind. I’ve always held the view that being on social media 24/7 is unnecessary and it’s obsessive, and I advocated for real, personal interactions long before I started taking this class. I always thought that people are overly dependent on social media, obsessing over every picture they put up and constantly monitoring the number of likes they’re getting. My thought was always…why can’t we put down our devices and go enjoy a fresh breath of air? However, I also realize that social media creates negative impacts only if we let it take over our personal lives. On the broader, global spectrum, it has done amazing things for us (Facebook’s safety check, ease of communication, source of news, etc.) and these things are beneficial for the general public. Therefore, looking at social media and its impacts as a whole, the concern over obsessive social media use does not rise to the same level of significance when compared to the overall benefits social media brings, and I think the benefits trump the harms caused by social media.
Some highlights/positives from the semester:
- I loved the interaction on Twitter – not only was I able to share news that were interesting to me, but I also got to know others in the class through their tweets.
- Snack time – although I feel like it sort of turned into a competition, I have to say that I absolutely looked forward to snack time every class.
- Lyft gave me $50 worth of free rides as a result of a simple tweet.
What I will do after the class ends:
- Get off Twitter for a while. Although it was beneficial to stay on top of digital trends, there was so much information that I need to unpack things a bit. I’d like to maybe turn my phone off and read a book instead.
- I’m going to do a little experiment in the near future–I’m going to deactivate my Facebook for a week, maybe longer. Although many of my friends have deactivated their Facebook before, either for Lent or to concentrate better during finals, I personally have never done it before. However, while taking Social Media & Digital Business, I came across an article that said people who go without Facebook, even for just a week, are much happier. I wanted to test it out for myself and even blog about it, but because my internship this semester required heavy social media usage, I never got around to it. I’m hoping to test it out next semester, and I’m genuinely excited to see how creative I’ll get about connecting with people without the help (or hinderance) of social media.
Finally, I’ll end with this tweet here:
I started following Social Media Insider at the beginning of the semester, and it’s been my go-to account for interesting articles about social media trends. However, the tweet above is really what makes me come back to the account every week. You can see that this tweet was posted almost a year ago and has been pinned for quite a while. With my internship and course work centered around social media, it was refreshing to revisit this tweet every week to remind me to snap back to reality, to touch, to smell, to taste real and physical things.
Lastly, in my very first blog, I mentioned that I may be unintentionally headed for a career in social media. And now, for my very last blog, I have to say that I may have to reevaluate my career plans. I believe digital is key and social media will never go away, and it’s crucial to be active online. However, I think I will stay away from job titles like “Social Media Coordinator” and make sure that my job entails something bigger than just social media.