Final Thoughts: From Skepticism to Endorsement

Twitter

Throughout this semester, my opinion on Twitter has shifted quite dramatically.  For years I avoided the social media network as if it were a plague.  To me, the character limit promoted simplified thought to the point of turning the site into a ranting page for lazy people.  Additionally, I was terrified that joining another social media network would lead me to waste my most valued resource: time.  As a result, I was very skeptical of our class’s use of Twitter, and was pretty sure that I would delete the app after this class concluded.

After this semester however, I have seriously learned to appreciate Twitter for what it is.  Through my experience with #IS6621, I have come to realize that Twitter’s character limit is perhaps its greatest attribute.  Condensed content is not only easier to digest, but is more importantly easier to create.  This ease of creation has been the driving force of Twitter’s main competitive advantage: its ability to enable communication in real time.  Whether the event at hand is a political gaffe, a sports result, a PR nightmare, or a celebrity pregnancy, I have seen firsthand that Twitter is consistently first to the punch.  It is for that reason that I can now proudly say that I intend to stay on Twitter, and that I strongly recommend joining to anyone who isn’t already on the site.

Blogs

In the first week of this class, I was very intimidated about the blog writing aspect of the course.  I figured that I could maybe write one or two, but had little faith that I could even think of enough ideas to write the full amount of blogs.  Nonetheless, the exposure to a world of ideas from Twitter, presentations, class discussions, and other people’s blogs helped me to find different and interesting topics to blog about.

Now however, I have the opposite problem… here are some of my blog ideas I never got to write about (anyone in future sections, feel fee to use these)

  • Digital Mind Control: Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI’s)
  • Psychological Implications of Virtual Reality
  • Social Media & Retirement Planning
  • Social Media & Corporate Valuation: Does good PR really boost equity value?
  • The Online Presence of Luxury Automotive Brands

Another thing to note about the blogs is how I enjoyed reading the blogposts of my classmates just as much as I enjoyed composing my own pieces.  While I initially expected a relatively homogeneous mixture of blog content given our demographic similarity as a class, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a wide variety of blogs on a diverse set of topics.  The written works of both my undergraduate and MBA peers continued to impress, intrigue, and engage me week after week.

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Overall Impression

When I joined this class by manual override (Thanks again @geraldckane), I had a certain goal in mind.  My main focus was to prepare for my upcoming summer internship in tech finance.  More specifically, I wanted to prepare by gaining a working knowledge of the tech industry and the trends that will come to define it in the near future.  Naturally then, the “Digital Business” aspect of this class was what really drew me in.

Reflecting back now, I am incredibly happy knowing that I gained exactly the kind of Digital Business knowledge I was seeking.  Learning about concepts like AI/Machine Learning, AR/VR, and the sharing economy was seriously intriguing and extremely relevant to my career in tech finance.  I especially enjoyed learning about Blockchain and about automotive technologies, which was very useful in showing me what types of companies I should focus my career on as a financial advisor.

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On the other hand, I did not initially expect to get nearly as much from the “Social Media” aspect of this course… but I could not have been more wrong.  I have come to realize that the social networks at our disposal are some of the most powerful tools our generation has to work with. During this semester alone, there have been countless examples of social media creating real change in the world, some of which are detailed below.

  • During this politically tumultuous time in our nation, Facebook has given common people the ability to organize events such as the Women’s March, while Twitter has helped communicate political events in real time.  As a result, social media has given a political voice to its user-base in an unprecedented transfer of power from the government to the people.
  • The United Airlines incident involving a doctor being forcibly removed from his seat, documented in a now-viral video, elicited a global cry of outrage.  As a result, United has been under strict scrutiny by the public, setting the stage for the slew of additional PR disasters that followed.
  • The brutal slaughter of an innocent man on Easter gained national attention for being live-streamed on Facebook.  While there are significant downsides to this event being live streamed, it is noteworthy that the murder suspect was able to be tracked down by police as a direct result of this video.  If not for the live stream, the killer may have gotten away.

As a result, I have come to realize how critical of a tool social media is when applied to politics, business, public safety, and countless other important applications.  While I initially joined this class to learn about “Digital Business”, I undoubtedly gained just as much, if not more, from the “Social Media” part of the course.

I would like to conclude by thanking Professor Kane, the TA’s, and my classmates for making this course intriguing, informative, and engaging throughout. Best of luck to all of you!

@mastello612, signing off

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