#Blessed to Be Digital

giphy3As I am sitting down to write this post in a Starbucks, I can’t help but notice the long line of people waiting to order at the register. I find it quite weird – I don’t remember the last time I had to stand in a line at Starbucks, I just order ahead through the mobile app and pick my coffee up when I get to the store. Just as I can’t really remember the last time I took or – even worse – had to hail a cab, thanks to Uber. Or the last time I had to borrow or pay back for a split bill in cash, thanks to Venmo. I have friends who don’t really do groceries – they just use Instacart, and while I’m not at that end of innovation yet, I have taken advantage of Amazon Prime more than once to get basic necessities and toiletries delivered, instead of buying them in a store.

The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. It is that technology has changed the way we, the consumers, interact with businesses, redefining the old and set ways, and often times creating entirely new interactions that create value for us as the users by saving time and adding convenience, and the for businesses in the form of the $$$ we pay for the new and improved services and products. While this is the current state of the world and digital business, the changes will only keep on coming and disrupting more and more aspects of our lives – and that is THE reason why you should take this class, as it will help you be aware of the current state of digital business and help you prepare for the sweeping changes that technology is bound to bring.

 

Expectations vs. Reality

For a quick checklist of “expectations vs reality”, I revisited my initial thoughts and ideas about the class, and I will summarize the outcome for each point below:

  1. Social Media

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I have to admit that I was going into the class with background and business level
knowledge of Social Media. While I haven’t had the chance to work on ground-breaking technology and products, I could probably be considered a “power user” of some Social Media platforms, as I utilized them heavily to promote brands and products across multiple online channels, and had to know all their capabilities to be able to develop effective campaign strategies. The class will teach you how to master professional platforms like Twitter and WordPress, and, if you haven’t already, I recommend you to take full advantage of that. Based on my experience, I know that while each one of the SM channels is powerful on its own, they work best when they are utilized together in a strategic, “connected” manner. While there were students who actively promoted their blog through their Twitter (or some amazing authors who had their blogs picked up and tweeted out by other students), I personally didn’t make many connections between the two, mostly because I wasn’t required to, and I wouldn’t remember to do it until it was too late. If I had to change one thing about the class, I would try to make more emphasis on connecting the different online platforms we use – stressing the differences in the interaction patterns and capabilities of the two, and the added power of using them together.

However, I was never an active user of Twitter, and this class was able to change it for me – while I still don’t feel the urge to tweet throughout the day, I enjoy scrolling through my feed to see news and updates from the accounts I follow. Thanks IS6621!

  1. Blogs

It is funny how the most intimidating part of the course turned out to be a personal favorite of mine. Unlike what I expected, I rarely struggled with picking topics for the blog, and I enjoyed writing about the things that I am interested in and have experience with (it was mostly about the brands’ use of Social Media). Based on the feedback, there were at least a few more people who enjoyed these topics and liked learning about them (thank you for reading my posts throughout the semester!).

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Similarly, I enjoyed the other students’ contributions – there were some very interesting posts, some unexpected topics, some educational ones, personal posts filled with personal experiences, a lot of clever use of humor, and a lot of great writing. This is my personal thank you to everyone who contributed to the blog, making it such a fun experience for all.

 

Final FINAL Thoughts

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This class is bound to teach you more not only about the ways technology is impacting businesses, but will also raise not-so-apparent, but perhaps more important, issues of the impact of technology on human interactions and the society, as well as discussing legal implications of our online activities. It will definitely expand the way you think about technology, Internet and Social Media, it will probably affect your perception of them, and it might even change the way you tend to use and interact with each. As an MBA student, I found this aspect of the course – that came from cumulative impact of the class discussions, presentations, Twitter feed, and blog posts – the most valuable. All in all, it just goes to show how every portion of the course works together to teach you about Social Media, Digital Business, and beyond. So if you want to learn about Social Media and Digital Business, get ready to tweet, blog, discuss, read, and think (a lot!) – I guarantee you, you will walk away with more knowledge and ideas than you walked in.

7 comments

  1. Great final thoughts blog! I thought it was interesting to see your point of view during the semester as you mentioned you do work in social media/digital marketing. We tended to blog about similar topics – which was also interesting. For example, one week we both touched on Kylie Jenner on social media.

  2. Nice post! I think you make a good point describing the world we live in today. As we are moving closer to a shared economy it has become easy to order products and get the services that we require precisely when we require them. As we have to spend less time on non-value adding activities such as standing in line to get a Starbucks coffee, we have more free time to use for leisure, hobbies, social media, or work. As a generation that has so many opportunities, we should take advantage of this technology platforms to improve the society that we live in.

  3. Loved this final post! My personal favorite comment that you made was in the “blogs” section, where you mentioned how many students picked a lot of unexpected topic. I noticed this as well, and loved it! I was amazed how creative our classmates got with coming up with blog topics, and I learned so much from these. It was also very rare that I read two similar blogs.

  4. Nice post! I really like how you started off with all of the current digital business technologies that we take for granted and your comment about this class preparing us for the sweeping changes that the future of technology is bound to bring is incredibly true. Like you, I enjoyed using the #IS6621 Twitter because it kept me involved in world news as well as helped me gain new people follow based on everyone retweets. I enjoyed every blog that I read and I’ll certainly miss blogging myself because of how fun it became.

  5. I appreciated your post – thanks for sharing! I also enjoyed your participation in small group discussions. I was hesitant to blog at first too and wish I had gained more enthusiasm earlier to plan out topics but I definitely enjoyed reading everyone’s blogs.

  6. This was a great post! I especially loved the title. I often have the thought of what would I have done if I was not born into this digital time. While social media has some negatives like worrying about what people think or when to post, who to friend ect. it does make life a lot easier. From where to eat to finding out which friends are in a specific city. The digital lifestyle is one that I am happy to be apart of.

  7. Great post on your concluding thoughts. I’ll admit, coming into this course I thought I was pretty savvy at social media as well, just to find out that I’m actually probably one of the few in our generation still behind the learning curve with topics like AI and self-driving cars (and even use of Twitter – never understood the appeal of it until this class). I found it funny writing your initial introduction since I was at Starbucks yesterday too and saw the cashier explain to the old lady at the front why other customers just came into the store, picked up their drinks that magically appear at the coffee bar and disappear “without even paying!”.The fact of the matter is, businesses (and even customers) have to start jumping aboard this digital change whether they like it or not – at this point, it seems like you either adapt or die.

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