ISYS6621. Social Media and Digital Business. The land of Office Gifs.
But in all seriousness, I enjoyed our class throughout this past semester. And I really did learn a lot. I often found that this class walked Social Media and Digital Business in parallel. I felt like some of the class was more interested in Social Media and the other part of the class was more interested in Digital Business. So, now that the semester is over, I have thoughts on both.
This was an interesting class for me. I didn’t end up being what I thought it would be, and that’s ok. Its more than ok actually. Sometimes you should be failure and study topics that you either find uncomfortable or that don’t interest you. I know that sounds harsh but let me explain. I wrote my first blog on why I don’t like social media. Well, after this class I can honestly say … I still don’t. BUT, I see the importance so much more now. And for that, I’m thankful.
I’m a little older than the average age in the class and a lot of times I chalked up my disdain for social media as a millennial thing (even though I’m pretty sure I still fall into that age range). Our last class got me thinking about how different people use social media for different things. I would apply age to that also. I can’t recall who it was but someone had a presentation about how different age groups use social media differently and I thought that it was a really great insight. After last class, us old folks were talking about some of the differences in ages. I told a story about how I have a friend whose daughter asked him why we call it “hanging up the telephone” when the button says “End” on the iPhone. I honestly never thought that his daughter had never literally hung a phone up before. I think it’s the same with me and social media.Growing up, I never interacted with people that way and while I flirted with Myspace and Facebook, I always got tired of them and let the dust collect. People tend to go back to familiarity and social media doesn’t seem very familiar to me.
This is all a long way of saying that I’m glad I was exposed to the social media aspect of this class because, as a manager, I’ll need to be cognizant of the importance of social media to a whole demographic slice. A sure-fire way to get left behind is to discount what the younger generation values and to think that “it was better when I was growing up.” Professor Kane had a good point in the last class too. He commented that he found it funny and interesting that the underclassmen feel that kids in middle school and high school are doing it wrong. It’s all cyclical. Just wait until we see what the next generation is using and we’ll all sit back and say, “it was better when I was growing up.”
Before this class started, I read the syllabus and was very intrigued by the Digital Business part of this class. More than the Social Media aspect if I can be honest (see above). The Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain classes were definitely my favorites.
The view of AI from a managerial perspective was interesting. Disruption of work and how to prepare were my takeaways from the class that really got me thinking. I’ve decided to think about AI as another candidate for a job that I will have to compete with. This way, I can sort of humanize it a little bit and try to define AI’s qualities. Right now, AI isn’t so much a threat to white collar jobs but in due time. I imagine myself having to continue my education wherever I may and up in order to fend off any competition. I would have to do that if it were a human or AI candidate.
Blockchain, while confusing, does have major implications on business going forward. Starting the class, I really only thought about blockchain as a monetary tool. But realizing that blockchain technology can be used for anything having a record sort of blew my mind. Decentralized record keeping that updates instantly would make everything so much easier and more transparent. My only reservation with blockchain is that it will cut out a whole industry of middlemen. The classic example are banks who handle transactions and keep records. If a bank can’t charge fees associated with transactions and holding money, they will fight the technology until they can find a way to monetize it. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.
CLASS IN THE END
I recognize the difficulty in teaching this class. While the work was constant and fairly heavy, I liked how we were able to explore the space on our own, beyond the weekly readings and led discussions. I read some really interesting blog posts about topics that never would have entered my mind. Not every post was palpable to me (see above) but the vast range of topics was great to see. Overall, I think this class is well done. I learned a lot and many conceptual topics that I will keep in mind as I enter the workforce.