A Digital Letter To Myself

Dear Sandara of the future,

2016 is coming to a close and such is your time in Professor Kane’s social media class. Whether you are reading this one year or one decade from now, I hope you remember how truly strange this year has been. I can assume that it has only gotten stranger since. How’s the future like? Are self-driving cars a thing? How about flying cars? Have robots taken over the world? Is 1984 making a comeback? Did Trump ruin America? There are so many questions I have. But knowing you, I know you’re looking for some nostalgia from days past, so here I am to provide you with a nice little #throwback. I wonder if hashtags are still a thing in the future.

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In my first post for the class I wrote about how social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter act as intimate digital portraits of ourselves and how we choose present ourselves to the world, whether that be through a carefully edited coffee art Instagram, or a politically charged 140 character tweet. In these personal spaces, businesses have truly adopted the motto of “be where your customers are” and have infiltrated these platforms to varying effect. While BuzzFeed’s Tasty has done an excellent job in seamlessly integrating itself on our timelines, other brands don’t seem to have the same luck.

But regardless of whether or not these businesses sent out the most engaging or relevant tweets, the fact remains that social media has infiltrated all aspect of our lives and it would be silly to think that it won’t completely change the way we eat, travel, shop, and live — if it hasn’t even done so already! When looking at the innovation of self-driving cars,  the rising popularity of Airbnb, the dominance of streaming, and the complete revolution of online shopping — think Amazon — it’s incredible to witness how fast these technologies are developing and being popularly adopted. What will the next big breakthrough be? It’s a difficult task to brainstorm, but I’m sure in the future another Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg awaits us, leading the way in innovation and disruptive technologies.

airbnb

As graduation approaches, finding a job is certainly on my mind. Where are you working now? Has social media changed the workplace? In class, we’ve had many discussions on how social media and technology are both creating and eliminating jobs. As technology evolves, perhaps AI and automation will put us all out of work. I would like to think that in the future, technology has instead created more jobs and opportunities for people instead of a complete robot takeover in the workplace. I could be wrong.

While we’ve talked about the many negative effects that social media can have on society: fake news, trolling, political headaches, laziness, etc. I hope that you haven’t forgotten about the many joys that social media has brought to your life. The ability to connect and bring people around the world together, whether that be friends, family, or complete strangers, is a strange but beautiful thing in and of itself.

Maybe it’s naive to think, but I hope that in the future we are nicer to each other on social media — that these platforms are safer, that advancements in social media and technology also correlate with advancements in society socially, politically, economically, and environmentally, and that social media can be harnessed to affect positive change.

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I leave this class with more questions than I had coming in, but I’m OK with that. There will always be questions, and in time, answers will come. Perhaps you in the future have the answers. Or maybe you wish to go back to the simpler times of 2016. All I can do now is speculate.

Thanks to everyone in #IS6621 and Professor Kane for a wonderful semester (not counting the election). It’s been a fun self-driving ride. See you all in the future.

Sincerely,

Sandara Tann

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. mikeknoll98 · ·

    Very insightful post. I enjoyed your perspective talking about your near graduation and how tech will impact the workplace for all of us. I agree with you and think that more jobs will be created as a result of tech. I think its so often that people freak out and worry about tech replacing jobs, but I think all the new companies and markets that are created overwhelm the amount of jobs taken. Great post and thanks for your thoughts.

  2. fernaneq4 · ·

    My 5th grade teacher had us write letters to ourselves and she mailed them to us our senior year of high school. It was maybe the coolest thing I have ever seen and it reminded me how poor my grammar was in 5th grade… I agree that I have left this class with more questions than coming in and I think the only thing that will answer those questions is time. Questions like: How will technology effect us in the future? How invasive will tech get? Will tech like that in the show black mirror ever become a reality? Where do we draw the line? How will it effect jobs even more? How will the younger generation grow up with it? If the apocalypse happens like in the Walking Dead is it even worth it!? So many questions. I hope I can log on here in 10 years and continue to see posts that answer these questions! Great post!

  3. Thoughtful post! I’m sure you could read this post in just a few months and things will be so different. So much has changed even since the beginning of this class. I think the uncertainty in the future of the workforce is scary since its so pertinent to our generation. I completely agree that I’m leaving this class with way more questions than when I came in. But that’s the best part!

  4. Loved this! As freshman in high school we had to write a letter to ourselves that we were not allowed to open until the end of our senior year. It was one of the coolest exercise I think I have ever done! I really got to see how I grew and changed over 4 short years. I think that with a blog post to the future on social media things will be complete different in a matter of months not years. I appreciated the creative take you gave this post. I agree with many of your sentiments. I especially like when you said that you are leaving this class with more questions that you came in with. Usually this would mean that the class or professor failed the student sin some way, but not in this case! I think this class and Professor Kane challenged us to look deeper into something we often take for granted. During this smelter I think we all developed a more inquisitive nature on how to think about Social media. I think the fact that we have so many questions means this class was an incredible success!

  5. Great post Sandy! It’s so true that social media has infiltrated all aspects of our lives – especially after seeing the latest update on Amazon’s grocery store (well I’m not sure that quite counts as social media as much as digital business, but still). That’s also relevant to your question about if technology will be putting people out of work or creating more opportunities for people. Something like that will likely put many grocery store workers out of work, but creates jobs for more tech-savvy people to work on the technology behind it. Either way, these technologies (self driving cars especially) that would’ve sounded absurd just a few years ago are now very much a reality.

  6. Fantastic post and I totally agree that when looking at places to work, I was more conscious of how technology will be used in my job and how involved my company will be in the technology. It will be so interesting to see how much more we will rely on technology and social media in the future realizing how much it has become intertwined into our own lives. With so many questions left, it really shows how much we have yet to know and figure out!

  7. Nice conclusion. You raise interesting questions. I do indeed wonder where we’ll be in 10 years, which could be interesting when I think about how far we’ve come in the last 10!

  8. olearycal · ·

    I think your post speaks to how undeterminable the future is. At the present we are so amazed by the things that are coming out and in ten years we’ll think the things we have now are archaic. I can think back to when I got my first ipod and i played games on it and now no one uses their ipod or even itunes. There’s so much disruption happening.

  9. holdthemayo4653 · ·

    Love the letter to yourself format. I think that the future you will laugh or smile at these “outdated” reference some day. I also hope (pray?) that social media will be nicer in the future. I tend to think that it has to. The way bullying and trolling is trending now it is hard to imagine a world where this is allowed to perpetuate. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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