Lesson of the Semester : Social Media is Not Evil

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.

10 comments

  1. It is true that before taking this course I never really realized how heavily I relied on social media for my news, entertainment, and everything inbetween. I guess I never really thought about it as evil though, but it is true our generation is hyper-aware of how much time we spend on social media and just the internet in general!

  2. Great post! I really relate to all the points you have made. I too was astounded by what I did not know. Growing up with a computer always close by I thought that I was extremely tech savvy. Little did I know I was barely scraping the surface of advanced technology usage. I also liked how you talked about the negatives you see in social media as well as the positives!

  3. Cool Post! I definitely have noticed that I find myself opening Facebook (or Twitter after this class) without even thinking and I just end up scrolling. Like Claire, I’ve never really thought of social media as “evil” but I do think that you can end up wasting a lot of time on it if you aren’t careful. If you use it correctly, the benefits are huge.

  4. Like you, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of social media and I peripherally knew that it was important to business, but I was wrong. I definitely came away with a better understanding of how social media and digital business will shape our careers going forward. Ha I never thought of social media as evil but like @rjacques62, I see it as a huge time waster if not careful. Good post!

  5. Good post! Like you, before this class my use of social media was mostly entertainment, to stay in touch, and checking current events was sprinkled in there. This course has helped me utilize social media in a more constructive purpose. Social media was my main source of news and through our tweets we all engaged in very interesting and academic conversations online, which was pretty cool and a change of paced for me.

  6. Great concluding post! I also thought I had a good understanding of social media because I’ve had my phase where I would post content every single day and now have my phase where I only post a few times a year. I’ve also used Instagram and Facebook Ads for business so I thought I covered the entire spectrum. This class has taught me otherwise. I also find myself relying heavily on social media to stay up to date with current events. Social media is definitely not meant to be evil and I’m glad that platforms like Facebook are also actively trying to clean up bad content.

  7. Such great insight! I love hearing about your mindset transition as I feel many of us have felt the same way. As I mentioned in my last blog post as well, social media has such a negative connotation from others, but it is really so much more. There’s a lot of good that comes out of social media. I always find myself opening apps without realizing it, and it’s also a habit I haven’t been able to shake, but there’s just so much to see and keep up with!

  8. It’s really interesting to hear your own self-discovery and self-awareness of the fact that just because you don’t post often on social media, you’re addicted like the rest of us! I personally know many people in my life who, despite the fact that they’re infrequent posters, go on social media just as often as I do. I totally feel you when it comes to deleting the apps. I somehow always wind up on the browser version of Instagram or downloading the app right back after a day or two. I agree in the fact that social media isn’t necessarily evil, but I think I need to find a way to limit my time on the apps. I think even just seeing a visual representation of how much screen time I use on them would make me want to check them less. You’re right on when you say they’re not going anywhere, so it’s up to us to use our knowledge of social media to make it a force for good in our lives instead of a detriment.

  9. Very nice sentiment. I totally agree with your initial thoughts toward social media before the start of this course. I didn’t see myself as a big fan, but have now come to embrace it for different reasons. This class has helped me to learn how to utilize it more effectively because at the end of the day, there is nothing we can do to get away from it. Social media is the reality for the foreseeable future so we must keep up.

  10. I very much agree- with what you said and the comments! I never considered myself “savvy” at social media, but taking this class really showed me the depths of what I don’t know. And also seemingly how hard it is to keep up with all the constant changes going on in social media/digital sphere. Taking this class and seeing how much the Internet/digital landscape has changed since the first class makes me appreciate just how truly difficult it must be for @geraldckane to create a syllabus…

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