Logging Off

It’s once again that time of the semester to look back and say to yourself, “Wow! This semester really flew by!” I am definitely one of those people. Usually, taking a class from 7-9:30 PM on a Thursday would not be the most ideal time for class for an undergraduate, given that multiple recruiting events, speaker series, and a multitude of other activities always happened in the evening. However intimidating the first class was (thanks Prof. Kane), each class was so similar yet so unique from every other class before it. Although we had a structure for each class that was followed extremely well, each class was completely different from the previous. More likely than not, we discussed new things going on in the world, in technology, and of course, on Twitter. Most importantly, though this class gave me another lens with which to look at technology in general. Because the class is called Social Media and Digital Business, I’m going to talk about the main takeaway from both of these sides.

The Media is (Really) Powerful

I think we all came away with this class with a better idea that the media truly is one of the largest influencers of our society today. Whether that’s traditional media that we watch or read about or even Buzzfeed articles, media outlets have such a measurable impact on our lives and we don’t even notice it. I recently tweeted about how Donald Trump’s tweet to not use the new Air Force One absolutely crushed Boeing’s stock. Without social media, this doesn’t happen. The ability for social media to disperse information so much faster than ever before has allowed for a kind of transparency we haven’t ever seen before. And when people have access to information, they interpret it how they want, and also act on it.

With this, however, I regret not understanding something I have now made a very conscious effort to remember when reading anything in the news: is this credible? I’m not sure what the remedy is to the proliferation of fake news (especially in this election cycle, etc.), but I do know that I won’t be taking things at face value much anymore. Although some media outlets may be doing everything in their power to make their sources legitimate and real, it’s hard to trust when most pieces of news you read or hear of seem real. As millenials, it’s hard to take that critical lens because even newer new media outlets like Facebook have become so commonplace for us that it has become very easy to take everything we see on there to be correct. It’s going to be increasingly important to see these media pieces in a different light from now on. That being said, let’s hope companies like Facebook are able to develop algorithms to correct any of these fake news sources going forward.

Most importantly, though, I was reminded once again how much our social media presence is our brand. Regardless of who we are as people, how we act in person, those values will not always get sent through via texts, status updates, and pictures online. This election is such a beautiful representation of that. Both candidates were able to create their own images at rallies and through debates. However, after those speeches, people used their Twitter and Facebook posts to understand what they wanted to say. It’s scarier about doing it online because that can always be accessed. Someone screenshots something you didn’t mean to post and it could be game over.

Digitization is Here

I said this in a blog post earlier: the only constant is change. It scares and excites me that there will be so much change over the coming decades. Whether it be self driving cars, Amazon Go (this is one of the coolest concepts to me, personally), or artificial intelligence, our world is becoming more digital. The impact that this digitization is immense. We spoke early on in the semester about company culture and how people at some firms still do not feel that the companies they work for are digitizing fast enough. I wrote a blog post earlier about artificial intelligence and how jobs that we considered very normal for humans to execute will soon be made even more efficient with the help of robots (in some cases, completely replaced by them). I think it’s important to embrace this digitization – as we become more and more efficient as a collective, more skilled jobs will be needed of humans, all leading to a (hopefully) cycle of growth. Technology has had such a huge impact on the way we interact every day, and it’s very exciting to see where we’ll go.

Whether it be Snapchat’s potential IPO or estimates of Salesforce’s valuation in the coming years, I feel a conversation about technology and digitization is incomplete without talking about valuations. At first, I felt that many of these companies were being overvalued (which could still be true). However, I think the main test for these companies comes with beating certain hurdles which propels their overall value forward. As Professor Kane mentioned in our last class, some people worried about Facebook’s initial stock when it IPO’d. However, as it was able to beat certain milestones (getting a reliable revenue stream, going to mobile, etc.), the stock price propelled forward. With an increasing amount of competition in multiple technology firms, it’ll become increasingly important for these firms to figure out what’s next. If you don’t figure it out, someone else will.

Final Thoughts

One of the best classes I’ve taken at BC. Regardless of major, interests, or current courses, this is one of those classes you just have to take. It’ll teach you that being connected is so important in today’s age, and how you can use social media and technology to benefit you in so many ways. Thank you all.

10 comments

  1. adamsmea89 · ·

    Great final post! I agree with a lot of what you said. It is really interesting to see how powerful some peoples tweets can be, whether they intend for them to be or not. Like you mentioned, Trump’s tweets are powerful and he was intending for them to be, but other people may make an inappropriate joke and it becomes a powerful tween unintentionally. I also agree that Amazon Go is an amazing improvement for grocery stores. Particularly in cities, lines can be extremely long, so this is a huge improvement if they can make it work. This really is a great class for all majors to take, because like you said, it hits on so many different of life that everyone can relate to it.

  2. mikeknoll98 · ·

    Thanks for your posts this semester and good final thoughts. I am too intrigued by the digitalization of the world around us. I tweeted a pretty cool article on Amazon Go this week did you see it?! Anyway I was intimidated by the class coming in too, but as you said I really think Professor Kane did a great job with the material and keeping it interesting week in and week out. I wish they offered more classes like this here at BC, and maybe we can petition for one together. Again great post and see you in class.

  3. Aditya Murali · ·

    Awesome post Aakash! This class has definitely been such a unique experience and has taught me that when it comes to technology, something new is always sprouting up and we have to be on our toes, constantly learning and adapting to the new(er) world around us. You are absolutely right that the media is extremely powerful and influential. Before all the fake news and filter bubble nonsense all over Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, the regular news media were the ones who could not stop talking about Trump, since it boosted their ratings therefore raking in more money. The media was (and still is) the foundation and main reason for Trump’s success. Fake news, however, is definitely a troubling topic but it seems like Facebook is working hard to get rid of this problem.

  4. kdphilippi18 · ·

    Great final post! We have definitely seen how social media has empowered the media and news , especially in the past few months. I agree that we are all so used to getting our news and information via social media that it will be a struggle to stop and think about the credibility of what we are reading. Additionally, while I hope we continue to embrace digitization, and it calls for more skilled workers – I also hope that CEOs and leaders of companies make the right societal decisions so that we can continue to include all workers in the evolving landscape not just highly skilled ones. Really interesting reflections – you touch on a number of great points that I’ve also found very intriguing in this course.

  5. rohansuwarna · ·

    Great final post! After taking this class I can honestly say technology has become one of the most influential aspects of our society. New consumer products and the way in which we live our lives have changed drastically in the last 5-10 years. I was also really taken back by the fake news problem Twitter and Facebook endured. I rely on these platforms so much for my news and sports updates that now I won’t be able to trust them too much. I guess this proves to us again that we can’t trust everything we see on the internet. Especially as elections become more and more polarizing as this past one, social media platforms will surely have to come down hard on this fake news issue. Great job!

  6. NIce post. Funny, Im realizing in the closing blogposts that I might have overdone it that first day. Of course, the quality has been so high this semester, than I might need to keep the “bad cop” approach going next semester! Enjoyed having you in the class!

  7. emilypetroni14 · ·

    Nice post. I agree that it is definitely a great class to take. SM is here to stay and it is important to learn how it can affect one’s personal and professional life. This class definitely made me more aware of the power SM has to create change and influence opinions.

  8. Austin Ellis · ·

    Nice post. I agree, social media is a really powerful tool, as evidenced by all of what we have been seeing with this election and more. I shared a similar takeaway; the prevalence of fake news is very worrying. In my blog I also wondered what the solution might be, and struggled to find one. I think, as you mention, the burden will be on the individual, as we all will need to be more scrutinous of the news we read. Thanks for the post!

  9. Great post! It’s funny you mention how each class is structured the sam but entirely unique. It makes sense because it’s like social media itself. There’s a certain structure but you’re always getting new news and new updates in your feed. One of the great things about this class is that it’s about social media which is about everything! By the transitive property this class is about everything (and how it all links back through media)!

    Also I just checked out Amazon Go. That video gave me the heebie jeebies. Very Orwellian, “1984.” I hate the idea of constantly being followed by facial recognition cameras and watched as I pickup and put down merchandise. What if I change my mind and want to put something down in the wrong place…I’m being watched. I suppose it’s one of those ideas that feels uncomfortable now but as tech changes, we begin to accept it.

  10. bishopkh1 · ·

    Great post! Loved the mention of Amazon Go, which received huge hype on Twitter this week. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Do you think it’ll cannibalize Amazon Fresh? Is there a need for them both? I love my Amazon Fresh membership, but there is a part of me that misses going into a retail store. I could see how there is a need for both, but not sure if Amazon is over reaching by launching a bunch of new products. Thoughts?

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