Thoughts on Class at the Start:
In the spring I signed up for Social Media for Managers because it counted as one of the electives for the Business Analytics concentration. I didn’t know much about the course at the time, but I thought it would be a relatively easy class and it fit well into my schedule. I expected the class to consist of memorizing terms and regurgitating the information on tests and quizzes, as well as some type of an online component. After the first class I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. I left that class thinking that it was going to be extremely difficult to pull off a good grade, and that the class would not be very enjoyable. I even contemplated switching out of the class for a few days, but I couldn’t find anything else that fit well with my schedule.
Leaving Class After the First Day:
Thoughts on Class Now:
I think it was after the third time that we met as a class when I realized that my outlook on the class had completely changed. I was looking forward to coming to the class. The Twitter discussions were very interesting. Keeping up to speed with the current news surround social media and digital business trends was my favorite part. It seemed like no matter what the discussion was about, the class and Prof. Kane always contributed new and interesting insights that I would not have thought of if I was just reading the news on my own. The class presentations and group discussions were also a great way to explore new business trends and developing social media concepts. Even though we weren’t “tested” on these concepts I found myself taking more away from these presentations and discussions than I was from many of my other classes. I can’t say that I enjoyed writing blogs, but doing so was a very effective way to research and understand a topic that was particularly interesting. Reading the blogs from everyone else in the class was very enjoyable. I especially liked reading the blogs where it was evident that the writer was very interested in the topic, and where it seemed like they really took the time to develop a good understanding of it. Everyone had different outlooks, interests and experiences surrounding social media, and everyone was able to contribute something new and insightful into their blogs and the class discussions.
Changing View of Social Media:
In the first blog I used the word confused to describe my overall feeling toward social media. I talked about the three platforms that I use the most frequently: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I saw Facebook as a useful way to stay in touch with friends and to plan events. I also talked about how my timeline is filled with useless posts and videos which are an entertaining way to waste time (after taking the class I realize its my own fault for clicking on them). I discussed how Twitter is a useful way to keep up with recent news, but that Tweets are not the same as private conversations and they can easily be received and interpreted the wrong way. I also discussed how I enjoyed looking through Instagram, but that I did not understand the appeal of taking time away from a fun event or activity to post an appealing picture. Looking back on the original post, I would characterize my view of social media as narrow minded. I only looked at the way the average college student interacts online, and I related it to how I interact online. I overlooked the fact that social media can be used as an effective tool to drive business, and I overlooked the immense impact, both good and bad, that social media can have in the world. Over the semester we have witnessed social media influence a presidential election, create a movement to stop the Dakota Access pipeline, and create the Mannequin Challenge trend. As social media develops we will continue to think of new ways to use it to influence daily life.
Use it like this, not like that:
News and Trends:
Before class started I did not pay very close attention to developing trends in the digital space. As class progressed and we had Twitter assignments, I found myself increasingly interested in the news and developments in the digital space. The way I read the news also changed. Instead of reading about a new story and thinking “oh that sounds fun” or “that will be nice in the future”, I began to think about the impact it could have on different industries and on peoples lives, as well as the future problems that could arise or could be solved because of the new developments.
There are two topics from the semester that stick out to me as the most thought provoking. The discussion about AR/VR was eye opening. I had no idea how far we had come in developing this technology. There is clearly still a long way to go, but the functional and the entertainment possibilities seem almost endless. I believe this will be the next big thing and I’m looking forward to watching it develop. The discussion about the future of work was also thought provoking. It seems inevitable that at some point technology will be more efficient than a large portion of human labor. It seems like a frightening thought that the majority of the population could be deemed “useless” in terms of working productivity. We touched on the creation of a fixed level of income for people who fall into that category and on the expansion of creativity and art. I’m not so optimistic that the majority of people will choose to make reasonable and responsible choices when they are receiving a steady stream of income for doing essentially nothing.
To wrap things up, the class was a great experience, and I will take a lot away from it. I looked forward to talking about current events and what the future could hold on a weekly basis. I would highly recommend this class to anyone interested in taking it.