Growing up in the generation of social media, I always felt the pressure to be part of the most up to date, “happening”, social media platform. I remember back to a time when a MySpace profile song told the world everything they needed to know about me, and an AIM message was my sole method of communicating with friends. Over the past 10 years or so, a lot has changed with social media, and the rapid pace in which the most populated apps go in and out of style has only increased. Although I was surrounded by the Twitter and Instagram boom, I can confidently say I’m no expert on either. While my sister, who is three years older than me, has over 1,000 flawless Instagram posts, I can honestly say I’m not sure how I managed to post even 50 decent pictures. And as I troll Facebook for hours in the midst of my boredom, I realize I can’t even remember the last time I posted a single status that wasn’t linked to a birthday or Instagram photo. For me, social media has become a way to pass the time, get quick news updates, and see what the rest of the world is doing — or at least what they want me to see.
My name is Danielle Parra. I’m a 23 year old second year MBA student. I grew up in a small New Jersey town, so small in fact, they combined two even smaller towns and called it Pequannock. I’ve finally found my passion, which is working as an analyst for an Advertising Agency. I listen to music, spend endless hours on my phone, am surrounded by experts on social media, and yet I find myself as an outside observer, not sure when I fell out of the loop and unsure how to jump back in. All in all, I’m taking this course to help bring me back as an active member of the social media world and continue to promote my own personal brand.
Advertising is very similar to the way social media platforms work. The industry is fast-paced and you have to keep up with the trends or you can easily get left behind. For example, our client’s advertisements are most relatable to the Instagram account of a 22 year old. The content produced has to be perfect. From the filter to the copy written below, every aspect of the single piece of art is meant to portray some message to the consumer. The desired response? Clients, like the average Instagram user, want to get as many likes and positive feedback as possible. Part of my job is to dig deep into those unpleasant comments and conversations to find the underlying reason of a consumer’s dissatisfaction. As with anything else, learning happens from that one individual who hates that piece of art and in that unhappiness comes improvement. Taking this course will also help me in this aspect of my life. Learning about social media in a business context will allow me to understand the best practices of how businesses evolve around this face-paced environment.
Although there is a method to the madness in utilizing these platforms, preferences change every day, including how individuals want to spend their time. For example, my best friend’s little sister is now a sophomore in high school. We are only 7 years apart, both grew up in the digital age, and yet our social media habits are entirely different. If you ask someone her age about Facebook, they’ll laugh in your face. Even Instagram is on the outs with this younger generation. They’re using apps we’ve never heard of and posting Snap Stories like we breath. They have no intention of slowing down. Social media has become an even more integrated part of their lives and we will soon be running to catch up. Even Snapchat, although definitely a part of our generation’s social media habits, will one day be their Myspace or AIM. In hindsight, it’s funny to think about. I used to think that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were here to stay, but someone like me probably thought the same thing about Myspace.
Social Media and Digital Business is just the start to a whole new era of interacting, similar to the email wave. As time goes on, some may be frightened to see what will replace the apps we once loved so much. As for me, I’ll be happy to watch it change and hopefully change with it. A course like this one will teach us the online ways of the world we currently live in, while preparing us for what is to come.