I was speaking with a friend a few days ago and I recommended that she take Social Media and Digital Business (because it’s awesome). She insisted that she hated social media and therefore was not interested in the class. She asked “what do you even learn in that? Are you now proficient in social media? Is that even a skill?”
Obviously, I was like…
….because social media isn’t going anywhere. I realized that even if I do consider myself to be “in the know” about social media now, chances are it will completely change in the next few years. Social media is a revolutionary industry that is full of twists and turns. Even if the information I learned now about social media becomes outdated in the future, I think this class helped me to understand how vital is it that I stay aware of the role social media is playing in my life.
Why do we care about Social Media and Digital Business?
If you don’t normally use social media then this chart basically sums it all up:
It’s (kind of) a joke, but this is a really simple way of explaining social media. However, I think Social Media is so much more than how we use them, but what they are and can be. For example, the election had a lot of different social media mishaps. From questioning Facebook as a news source to fake news being spread across social platforms, social media was a notable part of it all.
As much as you might want to eat them up (this gif is questionable)…you’ll have to constantly “eat” them to stay updated on all their new features.
Even if you learn everything about social media right now, there is no telling what will happen to it in the future. Digital business is only growing and we have to prepare for even more innovation and growth across any and possibly all industries. A few years ago, cabs were probably not feeling too threatened, and now their entire livelihood has been obliterated by Uber. Not only did Uber take over their market share, but they changed the way we all think and interact with rides. They disrupted their entire market and made it irreversible for cabs to ever come back from this new age without adapting.
What do I fear?
Some of you may be familiar with Black Mirror, and more specifically the episode “Nosedive”. This was a satirical piece, but I think it touches on an important dialogue that we need to be having.
When Kabrina Chang came to speak to our class about legal issues, it really freaked me out to consider how unrestricted the technology world is right now. Data security and privacy are real concerns that I have- even if my online presence is PG. I’m not worried about people seeing my posts, nor would I be upset if a boss ever saw my Facebook. However, I am worried about where we draw the line in freely giving away information. The video my group watched about what the world will look like without secrets was pretty scary! If my profile can answer so many other questions for you, will we have any semblance of privacy?
Social Media and Digital Business- two topics that we will not stop hearing about for a while. I loved the class because it was so much more than just learning about different platforms and new digital industries. We really talked about the implications behind all of the innovation and growth in the digital world. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in being up to date on our society take this course…because social media and digital business are NORMAL. They are fully integrated into our society and we would be remiss to ignore them.
With that said, the most important takeaway I’ll have from this class is that we need to find a balance between appreciating social media and digital business innovations but also understanding how much value we want to place on our security and privacy.
There needs to be a balance between how much we love to share with social media, and how much social media shares about us. In history classes, we tend to throw around the word “progress.” When we did something bad- it was for progress. When we did something good- it was for progress. Social Media and Digital Business help with “progress” but when we look back on it and read about this innovative time, will we be reading about the progress we made or the setbacks we caused? Another professor of mine wrote this article about how artificial intelligence could change executive decision making. I think it’s important to realize that with all of the progress social media and digital business might bring, they will change what we consider to be normal in our society. From the Ted talks we watched to the articles we read, I got the sense that everyone sees different pros and cons around these topics. I think one of the more important things I’ll remember from class is to realize how often our perceptions and expectations are changing to adjust to a more high tech world.