This is the End

And with that I guess this is it. Perhaps it was the fact that this class only meant once a week, the fact that it was my last semester, or simply the fact that learning about social media constantly kept me intrigued, but I felt like this course completely flew by.

Looking back on my ‘Preliminary Thought’s blog post, I remarked how I saw little value in using Twitter; now it’s one of my most used apps on my phone. Conversely every time I find myself scrolling through Facebook I can’t help but think that the platform is designed to keep me addicted and have since removed the app from my phone. A key question I asked centered around whether creating controversy through your social media posts was the best way to stand out and promote one’s self in the future, similar to B.o.B did with his flat earth tweets.

While the continued dominance of Donald Trump in the polls might suggest just that, I was surprised over the the semester to learn about the self-policing nature of social media. For example, Rachel Botsman’s TED Talk, ‘The Currency of the New Economy is Trust’ explained how reputation capital will allow for and ensure safe marketplaces centered on trust going forward. Raul’s blog post ‘Triton Artificial Gills: Breathe Underwater!‘ explained how IndieGoGo users independently proved a proposed project couldn’t physically work. These examples and more convinced me to hold a more optimistic view towards social media.

My favorite TED Talk was Jon Ronson’s, who spoke about the mob mentality many of us hold on social media. The story of Justine Sacco was shocking to me. Her powerlessness to defend herself, the hateful replies that were more offensive than her original tweet, and the fact that any of us could have made the same dumb mistake really struck a chord with me. I fully plan on reading his book on the same topic this summer.

As a graduating senior, I found it incredibly difficult to separate my thoughts on this being not only my last blog post but also my final assignment as an undergraduate at Boston College. A constant theme that has come up in recent conversations with my friends has revolved around how we plan on staying in touch with one another after graduation. I feel like this class has inadvertently done a terrific job in preparing me for that. Just this past week I was speaking with a professor who remarked how hard it was before Facebook to keep in touch with his friends from college. In my head I thought…Facebook? He didn’t even realize the number of tools available today that go far beyond Facebook.

This past semester has made me well acquainted with the communication features of Snapchat, the benefits of sharing articles on Twitter, and helped me explain Periscope to my friends. I now realize how many groupchat options are available out there beyond just GroupMe and iMessage. The fluid and open-ended nature of the class helped open my eyes to the broader definition of social media and how it is constantly changing.

Beyond staying in contact, the class has also convinced me of the need to build my digital identity. Whereas before I shied away from posting on Facebook or Twitter, I now fully intend to continue my tweeting. In part based on the idea of the economy of trust, I now realize it likely looks worse to have no online identity than to have a poor one. As evidenced by this terrible (or fantastic) attempt at doing the running man challenge, at least LA Tech started a conversation.

And with that I guess that’s it. I’ve bookmarked isys6621.com and will continue following the hashtag next semester. I’m now way more interested in seeing what the future of social media has in store and will force myself to stay as in-the-know as possible.

11 comments

  1. Hi- great concluding post. I like how much you reflected, while still also incorporating new things to share (the La Tech tweet). One thing you captured particularly well was the number of ways to keep in touch with people, especially groups of people. I think GroupMe and iMessage are the go-to ways for many people, but as we’ve seen, they might actually not be the most conducive or best way to keeping in touch. Great blog post overall and good job tying it into graduation as well!

  2. Great post Justin! I really enjoyed your reflection on this year, and you made some excellent points. My favorite part was when you brought up your conversation with a teacher and how you were able to recognize all of the other platforms that allow us to stay connected other than Facebook. Some great takeaways!

  3. Nice post! You had some great insights and reflections. I definitely agree with your point about the thoughts you have when you scroll through FB. I recognize that I should stop, but it doesn’t always deter me. Good for you for deleting the app! I loved your insight about relating this class and the tools we have learned to graduating and keeping in contact with friends. That is definitely a good way to apply some of the lessons we learned in class. I liked your ideas regarding building up a good online identity, instead of not having one at all. I think about this when people change their Facebook names to avoid employers finding them – could make the employer suspicious of what they could be hiding!

  4. Cringe worthy running man from LA Tech. great reflection on the semester and how much we have really covered. Before this class I assumed I knew a lot of what I needed to know about social media just because I grew up with Facebook, Twitter etc. This class showed me that there is a lot more happening out there!

  5. Couldn’t agree more that this class absolutely flew by. The Louisiana Tech video of the running man challenge was hilarious, and I’m not so sure how badly I would want to become a Bulldog after watching it, but you’re right. It’s probably worse to have no online identity than a poor one. You did a really good job of wrapping up the wide variety of topics that we covered throughout the semester. Also made a good point about how social media is so much more than just Facebook. There are so many social media tools right at our fingertips, and it would be pretty foolish not to take advantage. Great post.

  6. Wonderful wrap up post. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs, always a fresh perspective. We’re moving forward with a huge advantage, not only the classwork but even the networking we’ve done with other SM managers this semester.

  7. It never is the end! It’s just a “To be continued…”! This is just the beginning for your exciting career. Good luck from now on and congratulations! Great reflections and excellent points. Feels good to read other people that feels similar about this course and social media. Keep on learning and be adaptative! Enjoy your summer.

  8. I wasnt gonna read this but the caption was too fire. Crazy how things work out and how the internet impacts our everyday lives. One thing I am sure we will start to appreciate a whole lot more is its ability to keep old friends in touch.. cheers!

  9. You know, I’ve always wanted the #IS6621 hashtag to live on after the semester, but it has never done so. I do have alumni come back virtually from time to time. I do think FB is the best for keeping up on friends from college. Others are better for day-to-day interactions, but FB is great as the “go to” one to find people you’ve lost touch with. That’s its value, but maybe that will change over time.

  10. I don’t know what drew me to your post (probably the great title/pic), but thanks for the shoutout! It’s occurred to me as well to keep following the #IS6621 hashtag, but knowing that I won’t see any content until next fall makes it feel so distant. I’m excited to move forward and graduate this year though, and if my high school’s Class of 2012 Facebook group is any indicator, I think we will continue to see some quality interaction between our BC graduating class in the years to come. Honestly I’m already stoked about the reunions.. Thanks for your post and have an awesome summer!

  11. Hey, this is a great post that covered a lot of great stuff. I also think that the case of Justine Sacco was one of the most interesting topics we covered in this class. What happened to her was absolutely reprehensible. I think that, unfortunately, cases such as these will become more and more popular as time goes on. It might to get to the point where people are afraid to say things out loud even in-person because someone might put their statement online and then the person might get attacked online for it.

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