Coming into this class, I asked myself, “what am I doing?” I’m an accounting major who’s always preferred numbers over words (okay, I do love to read leisurely though). I’m passively active on social media; that basically means I just scroll through feeds to see what people are up to, but rarely do I actually post things. And for a millennial, I’m pretty oblivious and inept at dealing with digital technology.
I knew it wouldn’t be an easy course for me to take on, but yet there was something about the unconventional format of the class and the idea of learning about social media as it develops lured me in. And while I sit here still struggling to make it to the finish, I’ve come to realize that I don’t regret making that choice to continue on with this course.
Despite how dead many of us may feel late at night, I appreciated the amount of enthusiasm and passion that Professor Kane brought to class every day; his energy really helped uplift students’ interest in class and provoked discussions on social media that surprisingly dug beyond the seemingly basic surface.
I remember feeling challenged to present on something that would be compelling to my audience, and it took forever for me to come up with a topic on social media that wasn’t already heavily discussed in class or on-line. While I definitely did not cover everything about vicarious living and “mukbang” food broadcasts, I did stimulate further curiosity about my topic among my peers, and I think that served the essence of what this class is all about.
No one came into this class thinking they were gonna face the ugly reality of memes. No one understood the legal implications of Yelp reviews negatively impacting businesses until Professor Kabrina Chang presented on the topic. No one knew marketing firms like Digitas had an entire department dedicated to social media marketing and making sure Puma was attracting the right consumers with the right sponsors (i.e. Rihanna and Usain Bolt).
Why? Because social media is unpredictable and constantly evolving. You don’t know how one wrongly worded tweet will offend people or resound with people (Exhibit A: Donald J. Trump and his Twitter-empowered presidential campaign). New jobs are emerging from the sharing economy of Rent the Runway and AirBnB—albeit at the cost of current ones. Online platforms like Amazon are now dominating both the physical and online spheres of their industry while traditional platforms try to keep up by incorporating social media marketing tactics and digital tools (i.e. PBS Sesame Street transition to HBO).
It’s an incredible time to be alive for millennials as we watch businesses and people transform with the development of social media platforms and digital tools. Luckily, I’ve had the fortune of being able to converse about this transition in a class full of curious and passionate people this semester; this was, of course, on top of fascinating presentations and engaging Twitter conversations that left me each session with a little more knowledge and a lot more questions. For now, I’ve gained plentiful insight on how I’m seeing social media, how my friends see social media, and how the world currently sees social media. Now it’s time to keep watching how our society’s view will change with social media.
The title of this post alludes to a “goodbye,” but I don’t see that really happening with how interconnected we all are through social media. Rather, I’ll see you later online, ISYS6621. It’s been real.