When I first started this class and we were asked to write an initial thoughts blog post, I wrote about my skepticism and basically my lack of usage of social media because it isn’t something that I am hyper passionate about and I am not keen on sharing my entire life with the people that supposedly surround me. However, as the semester passed and now that it is drawing a close, it is time to reflect on my experience being extremely social media active and whether or not it was just for the sake of class. So the following are 4 things that I took away from class and how I plan on taking it from here.
#1 I Learned to Tweet
I literally didn’t have a Twitter account to which I knew the password before I came to this class. As of early 2012, I had called Twitter quits because I thought that it was a bunch of whiny teens (including myself), b*tching about what happened in their day and sub-tweeting to other people, just overall unnecessary. As I have grown up, people recommend and utilize Twitter to keep up with the news (i.e. our President and all his shenanigans), however, I was always against this because I was just cynical about it and didn’t want to deal with the unnecessary noise. When I entered this class and saw that Tweeting almost daily was a requirement, I was sort of worried because I know that I am terrible at keeping up with these kinds of things, especially since I wasn’t particularly fond of the platform. Anyways, I started on a good streak and learned that I wasn’t too shabby at keeping up and started using the platform quite frequently. Followed my favorite news outlets, magazines and brands (as well as the class of course) but all in all I was doing it, I was part of the Twitter community and following things that had and gave meaning to my life so I began to like it. I learned that tweeting wasn’t that bad. Fast forward to week 5 of class…
#2 I Learned That Keeping Up On Twitter Is Not for Me
And in a short period of time, the adrenaline of being a newfound Tweeter passed and I got soooo lost. I am extremely terrible at keeping up with what the original tweet was that everyone was commenting and retweeting and reacting to. In a matter of hours, if I didn’t check the feed I literally couldn’t find where any conversation stemmed from. Now, this took me some time and a huge amount of effort to make it look like it wasn’t the case for the sake of class, but in reality it was so stressful to me! I just couldn’t keep up and I can get my news elsewhere if that is the effort that Tweeting required. So in conclusion, back to square one and Twitter is not for me (probably will disable as soon as class is over, although I sort of enjoyed it for some time).
#3 I Found My Voice (Or Well, Some Inspo for My Voice)
I really found that I loved writing the blogs. I am an English minor on the side of my CSOM career and writing in a setting that isn’t with respect to a early 1900’s primary source is always fun for me. In the beginning it was slightly intimidating because the difference between this and a typical writing class is that you don’t share a small excerpt in class or that your professor is the only person thoroughly reading it rather its free for the world to see. I know that I am well versed and thoroughly check my grammar when it comes to topics that I am assigned but when it is an open forum, I feel like all my skill goes out the window, and I revert back to the little girl that only spoke and wrote in Spanish, whose English writing skills were mediocre and/or subpar for a majority of my adolescence. After I wrote my first blog, however, and started reading other people’s blogs I feel that I found comfort in writing in this form about a topic that was slightly open ended and slightly foreign to me. I may not have found my exact voice, like who I think I would be if I had a blog of my own, but I definitely found blogs that I admired and whose voices I found to be something I could reflect on and find similarities with. I think this was important for me because it made me comfortable with sharing what would be my voice with people other than my professor and in quantities other than small excerpts.
#4 Social Media Has an Effect On and Can Affect Everything
Lastly, through all the different blog posts, tweets, class discussions and project presentation, I learned that social media literally affects everything. There are no subjects (besides repeated discussion of AR, United’s screw ups and President Trump’s Twitter rants) that we touched upon more than once (also besides it tying into one another) because there was so much to cover in so little time. Everything from cyber security, to Basketball, to sleep deprivation as well as the laws behind social media and the fluctuation of interpretation in this world that has stemmed from its usage. Social media has a serious place in all of our lives now and it is something that is going to constantly evolve as we grow older and take on more responsibility, and it will be interesting to see how it molds our future or how we will mold it’s future.