Initial thoughts on social media

Social media has become a central component of one’s identity in American society today and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. On the one hand, people are able to connect with each other instantly from almost anywhere in the world but as many have noted, there is fear this digital connection may come at the expense of human interaction. I can see both sides and think it’s important to reflect upon how we choose to use these tools and continue to focus on being mindful and present in the company of others. Then again I was one of the first to grow up with these platforms so one could argue adults without social media primarily shaped my development. Who’s to say younger generations will have a similar experience.
As someone who is somewhat in the middle of two generations (x and millions) I’ve displayed a pattern of basic utilization of technology with little thought as how to best utilize and maximize my digital presence. My digital immersion began with AOL instant messenger and facing the grueling task of crafting the perfect away message with the right text/background color combination while occasionally yelling, “mom I’m on the computer, get off the phone!” Then came MySpace which I recently discovered somehow still exists, until finally Facebook came to my university after a few petitions from our student government. We grew up as these platforms were developed so we basically taught ourselves so I didn’t put much thought into my online presence and identity. I utilized them when I wanted to (or had to for student organizations and events on Facebook) but felt I could have done without them.
I’ve definitely seen how social media can have very positive or negative effects on people and businesses but it wasn’t until the past few years that I began considering this more particularly as it relates to business. I managed summer academic programs for talented high school students and since we didn’t have a marketing person in our office and our resources were limited, I had to try to understand and manage this for myself. Businesses and individuals need to spend considerable amounts of time considering options for their digital strategy as it relates to all operations (not just marketing). In an individual context, I need to be aware that my personal digital presence can result in negative consequences in my professional life. In many ways, we are constantly marketing ourselves on social media. I’m looking forward to the discussions generated by this course as I reflect on these themes.

3 comments

  1. Nice opening post. I do think it would have been improved with some images, links, etc.

  2. kevinbbarry · ·

    Nice post – I like how you elaborate both on the traditional platforms for social use (and how they evolved) but also highlight the increasing importance that companies have on developing a digital strategy – including the large ramifications it can have on operations.

  3. lesleyzhou · ·

    I agree with you that current businesses must now incorporate digital strategy to defend or strengthen their competitive position. After working as a consulting intern this past summer, I realized that it’s the big corporations that struggle the most with making this change since it is considered a huge internal business transformation that require a lot of approval and training. The process could literally take years and might not even be successful. What do you think is the best way for these corporations to incorporate digital strategy into their current businesses?

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