Social Media: A Rollercoaster of Emotions

In 2013 when I graduated high school I deleted my Twitter. It was fun to tweet nonsense and music lyrics and have peers comment, like, and retweet my thoughts. Then one day, my advisor sat me down and scared the life out of me. He told me that colleges and businesses look through candidates’ social media and that it does impact their decisions about me.

Now to be clear, I never posted anything that was offensive or contained foul language but knowing that random people were looking through my tweets put the fear of God in me. I deleted my Twitter and put all of the highest privacy settings on my Facebook and Instagram. I became scared of social media, yet I still used it on a daily basis.

In my undergraduate years, I got back to using social media daily. Adding all of these random people that went to my school. Facebook was great for finding out about interesting events on campus, themed parties that friends hosted, and staying in touch with my comrades from home. I lost my fear for social, and simply became aware of the new circumstances and adapted.

After graduation, I began prioritizing my life in a new way and realized that social media shouldn’t be as high up on my list anymore. Sure it’s fun, but there are more important things in life that need my attention. Therefore, I deleted my Facebook (I saw it as a large timewaster), reduced my time on Instagram and began putting more emphasis on personal connections. However, I found that one of the areas I lacked in, was being informed of current events and sports news. Then it happened, Twitter came back into my life.

Twitter put me back on the map. I made a personal account and followed every news and sports outlet I could find. Then I realized that I overwhelmed myself and was lost in the Twittersphere. I found myself confused and lost in the wealth of articles thrown at me by my timeline. Once again, I was out on Twitter.

Now fast forward to this class. Blogging? Tweeting? It sounded like my nightmare initially. After setting up my Twitter I made it a goal to narrow what I wanted to read. I still followed a lot of sports writers but kept the rest of my follows to the content that related to this class. After reading some of the tweets and blogs already posted, my fear turned into excitement. I think this class will be a way to conquer my anxiety about Twitter and lead to a new variety of information about the changing social media world.

-MC

4 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal story with us Mike! One, I admire your determination to delete social media several times despite the fact that everyone used it around you. Although we all know the downsides of it, such as the privacy issue, we still use it regardless. It’s great that you actually went out of your way to do something about it. Two, I cannot agree more with being overwhelmed with the amount of “Things you may be interested in” posts these days. This also connects back to how big data may not be that useful, rather the information and story that can be extracted from that big data are.

  2. MC –

    I felt the same way about my twitter after graduating college. Seemed unnecessary, was just me saying random things and retweeting my friends. But now I use it as a primary news source, and a way to find perspectives on different issues. When the Aziz Ansari article was published, my brother and I were both on Twitter looking at different outcomes and thoughts behind the whole situation – which provided for a really good chat about #MeToo and what constitutes as part of the movement. I hope this class helps change you perspective!

  3. Yeah, Both platforms (twitter and blogs) are really only as valuable as the people/ content/ organizations you follow. We usually do a pretty good job in this class, and the blogs only get better as the year goes on. I’ve read some really amazing stuff over the years and I expect more this semester!

  4. Mike – I definitely relate to the tension between using social media to stay in touch or up to date on news and getting lost in social media and losing time I could be putting into relationships. I have always refused to make a Twitter because I think I have enough social media, and I can’t tell you the number of times I have deleted social media apps off my phone only to find myself opening Facebook on Safari a few hours later. I think this class will be a cool way to learn more about the benefits and dangers of social media in the business world, to develop strategies for how to harness these benefits and mitigate the risks of social media, and to maybe create some tactics for balancing social media in my own life as well!

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