Final Reflections from Social Media and Digital Business
I want to first begin my final blog of the semester by thanking the entire class and professor Kane for making my experience in Social Media and Digital Business an unforgettable and eventful experience. I mean c’mon, how awesome was it that we had snack-time every class?
During this break, I was able to communicate with many classmates and simply get to know them better and understand how they think and interpret class. This made a class of unknown students a lot more fluid and active in discussion and participation. So again, thank you all for making this experience worthwhile.
Reflecting on my first blog, my major themes and questions heading into this class were learning more about technology/social media and its volatile impact on modern society. I am a finance and economics major. So in most of my core courses, I am exposed to mostly theory and quantitative data. As a senior at BC, I wanted balance. I wanted to enroll in a class that I felt would be valuable and relevant as I begin to make the transition into the real world. Social Media and Digital Business has fulfilled all my hopes. This course has allowed me to view the world in a different light and give me a stronger understanding of potentially impactful societal changings that I will be exposed to upon graduation. Sharing this class with both undergrad and postgrad students allowed excellent balance and interpretation of class readings and TED videos.
Sticking on the theme of disruptive social media and technology, I found the most impactful lecture and discussion was on the impact of the sharing economy. This was a recurring theme throughout the entire semester through twitter discussions, blogs and class discussion.
Uber and its autonomous driving technology were a significant part of every class discussion. I cannot remember one class where this was not mentioned in some capacity. As a reflection, peer to peer markets, such as Uber, has brought efficiency to industries that had been criticized for their inefficiencies. Highlighting the car industry, before Uber and other car services, most cars have been wasted. They sit in the garage or the parking lot for excessive hours during the day or night. Essentially, owning a vehicle is getting more expensive while the efficiencies of owning one are decreasing. This is where technologies like Uber, Lyft, and Zip Car have found a niche to change the entire platform. Who would have thought these technologies would influence more than just one industry? I certainly did not.
Now, landlords, real estate, street designs, car industries are all altering their outlook of how their business will change. With autonomous driving, many different industries will be disrupted. Understanding this will help me gain an advantage when it comes time to enter the real world. As driving assistance technology advances, the need to own a car will decrease. More autonomous vehicles on the roads will decrease the number of accidents and therefore alter insurance companies. Mortgage prices in suburbs will increase because more people can live further away from their jobs and work during their commute to work. These are only a few of the potential impacts autonomous driving will cause to different industries, but this only shows the severity of technological innovation.
The entire concept of peer to peer markets has completely shifted the outlook of certain industries. With apps like Airbnb, Venmo and Sofi are bringing efficiencies to so many different industries. These tech companies are raising mass amounts of private capitalization allowing them to expand their influence and power. My only gripe with all of this technology is government regulation moving forward. Another common theme that we saw this semester was government regulation and its role monitoring these advancements. We saw that most government regulation is reactive to improvements in technology rather than being proactive. This will be a serious issue moving forward. Government regulation can potentially define the future growth in these industries. Potential tax implantations to Airbnb or driver regulation to Uber can change how these companies operate. However with that being said, I believe that sharing economies will only increase in value and size. Consumer confidence and trust will continue to develop allowing for growth into different areas. Also, and more importantly is efficiency. For consumers, this means getting more services or benefits for a lower cost. It is hard to ignore this when older institutions are charging fees that may outweigh the benefit of the good or service they are providing. In result, both of these reasons will allow for continued growth.
As I wrap up my final blog post I want to conclude by saying that believe I achieved one of the main goals I set for myself coming into this class. I have obtained a greater understanding of technology and social media industry while also being able to analyze different technological aspects and how they can influence many different industries. Thank you guys for a great semester.