Final Thoughts

Write a blog on your “Final Thoughts for Social Media”. Sure, let’s think about this.

Final thoughts are like that segment of the show where you wrap everything up in order pondering-guyto leave your audience with a pondering thought or a good feeling on the inside. On the other hand, if you’re Tomi Lahren, you manage to spit out as much of a controversial material as possible to let the embers of the flames keep burning after the curtain call. I’m going to stick with the former here.

And similar to my initial expectations for social media, I find the inquiry to write about my final thoughts for social media to be similarly odd. It’s difficult to have a series of final thoughts on something that is always going to be “refreshed” at the top of the filter. So with that in mind, I think it’s important to take the challenge of writing final thoughts with a holistic viewpoint.

Our day-and-age is starting to see new technology sweep across our lives in newer and newer ways every single day. We don’t yet know how grand these effects may be, and that really makes it a fun and exciting time to be in the present. These are things we’ve talked about, of course, whether it’s the use of Blockchain to complete a transaction or sending out your self-driving car to work as a taxi while you are at the movies. But what I think is also interesting, is that our society is beginning to understand the do’s and do not’s of social media.

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Just like a kid on the playground growing up, you learn what is okay and what is not okay. So Sure, accidents happen. You push another kid over to get to go down the slide first only to be scolded by the teachers at the bottom. As a society, and more specifically as companies, politicians, CEO’s, etc., we are learning how to best react to each other in everyday moments. United Airlines lost an estimated $950M from that viral video. It was a mistake, and mistakes have to happen in order to make progress. You better believe every airline is doing their best to not make the same mistake their competitors did. It’s like we are a herd of travelers trying to cross a frozen river, slowly trying to move forward on thin-ice. Everyone is trying to be safe, but you never quite know what’s going to cause the ice beneath your feet to break. And each person is trying to learn from those who were misfortunate to fall into the water. But what else have we learned?

History repeats itself.

All it takes for a company to lose value is to make one small step in the wrong direction. It’s interesting to see how social media has become a medium for company valuations. In my mind, the determinants of company success used to be the actual numbers that drove the business. From those numbers, traders and brokers could perceive a certain market value. But now, even the smallest of hiccups gets blown out of proportion and the stock price is immediately affected. It’s as if the whole world can now decide what value is, going beyond the cash flows.

Anyways… back to the whole “bullying on the playground metaphor”.

It’s really interesting to think about how everything can be seen at all times. Any and all mistakes will go online and will somehow make some sort of impact on a company or person’s reputation. I wonder how this will affect behavior over time as we learn how such repercussions, such as the United Airlines, can harm public perception. Just like the Hawthorne effect, we are now starting to change our behaviors online, understanding that what is put online is permanent.

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I’ve even noticed my own behavior change over time as I’ve learned that I will be judged for my past posts. It’s like the kid on the playground can get scolded for pushing another kid over, but that won’t be hung with him for the rest of his life. There is no evidence or posting of him being the bully. So he can get scolded, as he should, then learn to move on and how to be a better person. The internet works a little differently. Every single tweet, picture or post stays with you forever. It makes it difficult to state you’re a different person than your younger self, considering that there is evidence everywhere of your past opinions and behaviors. And we’ve learned that the internet is ruthless in judgment. So what we say now will always cause for scolding, whether it be two days, two months or two years from now. There will always be evidence of perhaps a time we were a bully on the playground.

So as we move forward, we are learning the rights and wrongs of our new playground. I for one, feel the need to tread lightly with what I do online. I never quite know what is going to haunt me. I, for one, also feel that I’d rather make my mistakes in the real world without a camera or microphone in front of me so that the learned lesson can best go unnoticed as I try to become a better version of myself as I get older.

So hopefully, I left you with a pondering thought about everything we do online. I would like to thank those who have read and commented on my blogs this semester. It’s been real. It’s been fun.

It’s been real fun.

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4 comments

  1. You mentioned some great take aways from the class. The incident with United might not have caused them nearly as much damage if not for going viral. This again brings to our attention how careful we must be with our online presence on social media. I agree that our online version is something that’s out there and stays with us, which is why we must think before we post anything. It reminded me of our discussion on Justine Sacco’s Tweet that ruined her life. Hopefully, after taking this class, we will be me more conscientious given our awareness of the impacts that our actions might have in an online setting.

  2. joeking5445 · ·

    I definitely agree that making a mistake on social media is scarier than in real life. As we saw throughout the class, one tweet can ruin someone’s life or destroy a brand. I also will tread lightly with my social media use going forward. We have used this metaphor a little too much, but social media truly is a double edged sword.

  3. Great post! I really liked the playground metaphor – I definitely agree that we’re all still on a learning curve when it comes to social media; it’s really difficult to determine what’s going to create a larger/unwanted effect. Though the exposure/stakes make social media much more dangerous for companies, personal accounts are definitely becoming more and more scrutinized. We definitely all must be really careful about what we’re posting and how we’re portraying ourselves online, because almost anything can go viral at any time for any reason.

  4. Nice post. I agree we are still in the infancy of social media and still learning how to react to situations. I liked your point about how social media has become a medium for company valuations. I agree it’s definitely a factor and there is significant downside. Unless social media is your core business, I am not sure of examples where there is a significant upside in terms of company valuation, but I suppose good social media leads to good customer interactions for all company types, which would affect the bottom line. Nice post, I liked the analogy.

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