My understanding and knowledge of social media has been completely uprooted since I started this course. At the start of this course, I looked at social media as a tool for people to keep up and network with their friends and other trends in current society. I looked at social media purely as a place to post pictures and look at other people’s pictures – friends, family and celebrities. I looked at it as a method to keep up with people’s lives and stay informed on what was going on in pop culture. I did not realize how much information I actually got from social media and how it keeps me updated on current events and what is going on in the world. I thought it was simply a way to socialize and interact 1with my friends.
Also, I thought that I was not a big “social media” person. I have never been good at editing my pictures, coming up with captions or taking “artsy” pictures, thus I labeled myself as someone who is not good at social media. With that label, I was pretty absent on social media and barely posted – I post about five pictures a year.
I was extremely naïve. I did not realize the true extent and influence social media has on my life. I thought that since I did not post a lot, I was not a big social media person and it did not have an impact on my life, but I was completely wrong. Although, I do not post a lot, I constantly check social media and I get a large majority of my information from social media and other technology platforms. I get news on current events, celebrities, my friends, politics and information on various topics via social media.
I find myself constantly, without even thinking, going on the Internet or clicking on one of my social media apps. This is a habit that I do not love, but I cannot seem to kick it. Deleting the apps does not even work. I will just re-download them or go on my computer. I always get so frustrated with myself because I don’t have the willpower to go without social media.
After taking this course, I have realized that social media is not evil and I do not need to delete it or go an extended period of time without it (that said, I should not be on it constantly / to the extent that I am not present in conversation). I honestly believe that social media enhances my life and allows me to be more well informed on various topics and current events. Days that I am extremely busy and do not have time to go on social media or surf the web, I find myself missing out on big events and not hearing about what happened that day. On /days like that, when I am catching up with my friends and family at the end of the day, I am always lost in the conversation because they are usually talking about things that happened on social media or various topics that I would have known about if I had looked at the internet or any of my various apps. Social media gives me updates on sports, politics, companies and friends/family.
Also, I realized that I truly do enjoy social media and technology. I get a lot of enjoyment and entertainment out of these platforms. For example, on Instagram, one of my favorite things to do is keep up with certain bloggers that I have been following for years. It is so fun to keep up with their life and get advice on various products and inspiration for outfits. Also, my friends and I follow a lot of the same bloggers, so we always talk about them and talk about what they post each day.
In conclusion, this class has been an amazing introduction into social media and technology – two topics I, mistakenly, thought that I already had vast knowledge on. It has allowed me to grasp the importance and large role of social media and technology on my life. It affects almost every aspect of my life – for the most part, in a positive way. Social media and technology are going to continue to transform and have a large role in society and everyday life – they are not going anywhere – thus it is extremely important that we truly understand it and learn how to utilize it in a way that is healthy and not harmful. We need to use it to gather information and be innovative, not to compare ourselves to others or to bully someone. I am extremely happy I took this class. It has truly opened my eyes to how technology is going to transform and shape the future and how social media plays a large role in our lives and it affects a lot of our opinions and knowledge on various topics.