Overall, my initial mixed feelings about social media and digital technologies have not really changed since the beginning of the semester, but in fact, my mixed feelings might have been heightened. (This could also be because I have been watching a lot of Black Mirror recently as well). There are so many aspects we have learned that has allowed me to continue to love social media and digital technologies, but so many nuances that we have also pondered that make me dislike and a bit creeped out about it as well. Here’s my final breakdown:
What I Loved/ Found interesting:
One aspect that really stuck out to me from this class was all the social good that can happen with the use of social media and digital technologies. These platforms can keep us connected with all of the people we want to and has really helped foster connections no how far the physical distance is in real life. Social media platforms also allow for people to connect with people in similar situations as us (i.e. Humans of New York, Cancer fighters) or who support similar social causes (i.e. Climate change, Representation in the media). Social media provides an outlet for voices to heard and stories to be told, which can be very powerful for so many people. Learning and reflecting about these connections, stories, and social change that can come out of the digital world is what I loved learning about the most and it will really be interesting to see how we can continue to create a better world with social media and digital business.
Another aspect I loved is the rapid change and speed social media and digital technologies in the digital world is changing. Every single week, there was so much happening and changing in digital business. All in one semester, we were able to see Uber launch self-driving cars, Snapchat launch glasses that can video record, see Amazon release grocery stores without cashiers, and so many more things that can’t be listed here. Scrolling through the blogs and Twitter every week was just overwhelming to see how fast our digital world is moving and innovating day to day. This speed really kept things so interesting and will continue to keep social media and digital technologies interesting in the future for me. Who knows what crazy innovation we will see released next week after class ends from those speedy tech companies?
What I Disliked/ Found creepy:
The biggest aspect of social media and digital technologies I continue to dislike is the ability it has to further disconnect us from each other and the present moment. With social media and digital technologies, you find more and more people everyday glued to their phones or computers without being conscious, aware, and present of what is going on around them or stop to think about what is actually happening. People are so entrenched in technology and in a way it has made us a less mindful society. I understand all the pros of keeping us connected and having information all within our fingertips, but there is still great human value I believe in being present and mindful of the moment. Google is making us dumber and Facebook is keeping us disconnected in certain ways, but being conscious of this will allow us to utilize social media and digital technologies to the fullest and be mindful of life moments.
Additionally, an aspect that creeps me out is that as we become more dependent on social media and digital technologies, much more information about our personal lives and tendencies begin to be exposed. Throughout the semester we learned about how companies have unprecedented amounts of data now about us as consumers. My iPhone knows my tendencies of when I go to class, where they are, and how long it should take me to get there…that is insane. Imagine the amounts of data companies and brands have on your habits through the internet and what you do on social media. Working for an advertising agency this summer and in the future, every time a new campaign comes out with targeting, on one hand I think it is super cool we can do this now, but on the other, it is kind of creepy we know this about people. It will be interesting to see how social media and digital technologies will continue to improve security and handle privacy issues with these data issues.
Wow, this semester has really flown by fast. Professor Kane and everyone in class has done a fantastic job in helping me expand my knowledge on social media and has continued to push my curiosity and intrigue in learning more about everything in this new digital world. All the blogs, Twitter posts, and class readings, discussions, and presentations have introduced me to so many aspects I was not conscious about before in social media and digital business. You all have truly pushed my reflection into how I think about and interact in the digital world and I loved that. That is why I wanted to end off my blog by giving a big mahalo to everyone for this!