Looking back at my original blog post, titled Turns Out, I Know Nothing… I wrote that, “From the first two classes, it’s clear to me that this class isn’t going to be a walk in the park. It’s going to take a lot of effort to be able to handle and control the workload for this class.” Lets just say that I got one thing right in my original post. This class wasn’t a walk in the park; it was so much more. Every Wednesday, I was excited to walk into Stokes and discuss the day’s topic with my classmates, even though we had been interacting (digitally, of course) all week. I know that I won’t have another class structured quite like this one in my time at BC.
I have only had one other class that required me to tweet, and that was my philosophy class my freshman year. Our Twitter requirements? 2 tweets per semester. We might as well have completely left Twitter off of the syllabus at that point, for what good it did. (No offense, Professor Taub!!) Before #IS6621, I thought Twitter was useless and, above all, just plain stupid. Now, it’s the main platform I use to get my daily updates on the happenings of the world. Who knew that a non-believer could be converted into an avid Twitter user? Not me, but surely Professor Kane did. There’s a reason Twitter was a class requirement…
That being said, this semester was by far the fastest semester I have ever experienced at BC. I actually can’t believe that it was the same amount of time as my first semester as a freshman…but here we are. Like most of my classmates, I had an overwhelmingly positive experience in this class, and if there’s one major takeaway I can bring to my actual life from #IS6621, it’s this:
Once you think you know something, it’s already gone.
Well, that’s morbid.
Now, this statement (obviously) isn’t always true. For absolute facts, like 2 + 2 = 4 and Tom Brady is the GOAT, this statement is false. We know these facts for what they are–facts. What I’m getting at is that while my key takeaway from class cannot be applied to all facts, it can be applied to social media and the digital landscape of today’s world. The digital landscape is ever-changing, always shifting, and difficult to keep up with. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, or left in the dust.
The same can be said for ISYS6621: if you couldn’t keep up with the workload, you would get lost in the dust. Week by week, we kept building on the subject of digital technology, and if you didn’t read Twitter or the readings one week, you were stranded for the two and a half hour class period. Again, once you think you know something, it’s already gone. Replaced by the next greatest thing, Tweet, blog post, or TedTalk.
Throughout the semester, we have covered a plethora of topics: anything and everything from automated vehicles, collective intelligence, Barstool Sports, blockchain, Starbucks (love!), data and its legal implications, the creepy/cool line, and Amazon, to name a few. The digital era that we are experiencing makes it very easy to get caught up in current trends, technologies, and fads. Except now, you wake up one morning and find out that the platforms you were using yesterday are now outdated and ancient, replaced by the next new iPhone, or the latest version of your in-home personal assistant (I’m talking about you, Alexa!), the most recent Twitter update, or the ever-changing price of Bitcoin. Yesterday’s technology and trends are already in the archives, replaced by the next new thing. Unlike the fashion industry, where styles become outdated every 3-6 months, the digital technology dies faster than you can say, “How cool! I want one!”
That’s what I mean by “I still know nothing.” How the heck are we supposed to keep up? How can we determine what digital technology presents a great investment, and which will be left in the dust in a few weeks? How were we supposed to know that the price of Bitcoin would increase almost $5,000 in the weeks since @mattwardbc gave his presentation? How do we know that the iPhone X is a great investment, or if we’re better off sticking with our measly iPhone 7? Again: I know nothing.
This class gave me incredible insights into the beast that is digital, but left me with so many unanswered questions. The only thing I know for sure is that those who can adapt quickly, and stay unattached to current technologies and trends will be the ones who thrive. Digital businesses who are slow to adapt to technological advancements, such as Vine or AOL, will die. (RIP, Vine!) Companies who understand the importance of digital, and those who can capitalize on the amount of data (without being creepy!!) are the ones who will survive. Those who can’t…well, see ya.
Bottom line: I still know nothing. However, my outlook on that statement has changed. I now know all about blockchain, collective intelligence, and the sharing economy. What I don’t know, and what everybody doesn’t know, is the future of technology. What impact with artificial intelligence have on this world? When will Bitcoin crash? Will Amazon ever meet it’s match? When will we see automatic vehicles on our streets? None of us know, but I’m so excited to find out.
I’ll miss this class, and the ending is bittersweet. On Wednesday, I’m going to need a sad sponge….
…to soak up my tears.