Unwanted and Unwarranted Opinions on #IS6621

“I’m taking a class on social media and digital business!” – me

The responses I received from people varied, but I think they encompass many of the feelings and initial expectations I have for the class.

“A class on social media – you know enough about social media!” – my mother

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When I came into Boston College as a naïve 17-year old, I had no idea what I wanted to study, but I was quickly struck by the power of technology and its future in business from my Portico and Computers in Management classes. I liked how tangible technology felt to me (little did I know), and I could see how it was vital to the future of any business. This prompted me to add an Information Systems major and sign up for Introduction to Programming. Throughout my Information Systems classes I have continually been struck by the power of technology, its importance in business and society, and the need to be on the forefront of it. Throughout Introduction to Programming, Database, and Systems I have become more and more interested in technology and its effects and have become more certain, whether I want it to or not, that technology will play a large role in my future career.

Since I am an Information Systems major I know where my mother is coming from. She has heard me talk about how much I love the classes and its effect on my future career; however, I fully and willingly acknowledge how little I still know, and can know because of how quickly it changes, about social media and digital business. I hope and expect that every class I leave surprised and maybe a little disconcerted about the new technologies, companies, or trends in social media and digital business, and I hope to leave inspired to learn more about them or consider how they will play a role in the future.

“That should be an easy class” – my friends

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I think this myth was debunked the first day of class when we heard how unusual this class is going to be. What do you mean there are no tests? We have to blog? I always judge those people from my high school who keep blogs… We have to tweet? I have always avoided getting a Twitter because I do not want to add to the time I spend on social media. We have to give a presentation on anything we want? I think even the structure of the class debunks this theory of being easy because it engages each of us in so many ways beyond the classroom. It forces us to not only read and listen to a lecture, but to engage each other and the technology around us, while continually asking questions and pushing further into questions or topics.

I also expect to gain some trust and distrust for technology and digital business in this class. I imagine there are times I am going to feel technology goes maybe a little bit too far, is detrimental to human relationships and communities, and may become dangerous. I also imagine, however, that I am going to be awed by the power of technology to transform and do good. Already I was struck by our first conversation about the crowd and platforms, and I already went home and discussed these topics with the people around me. When I excitedly ran home to tell my roommates about ClassPass, I found one of them uses it regularly and went to one of their classes that morning. I expect to talk about this class often and to continue to learn and be surprised from these conversations. I hope through the conversations, readings, and lectures that I will learn as much as I can about how to garner the benefits of digital business and social media and understand more concretely how they play a role in society and business.

“Ahh yay, it’s such a great class. Don’t get scared off the first day.” – people who have taken the class

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While it may not be an easy class, I expect and hope that it becomes less of a class and more of a vital, fun part of my day. If I didn’t know before, the first two days of class solidified my understanding of the importance of digital business, digital maturity, and digital as a core in business. I know digital business is the future and is vital for the success of any company, so I expect that these habits I develop of researching digital business, discussing it, and writing about it will begin to permeate all areas of my life and will continue far past the end of this class.

I hope in the end, I am able to prove that I do not know much about social media and digital business and may never be able to because of its constantly changing nature but that I am able to learn tools to effectively learn and dialogue about it. I hope to not think of it as an easy class, or even a class at times, because I begin to integrate it into my daily habits. And, I hope to be the one telling other friends and students that they must take this class because it’s so great!

4 comments

  1. I received the exact same comments from my parents and peers and I am willing to bet many of our classmates did as well! After our assigned readings this week on Facebook’s misanthropic philosophies on humanity I can’t help but agree with you that we will be sufficiently “disconcerted” by tech plenty of times this semester. That being said, I look forward to the lively discussions we will have together as a group to bring these issues to light so that our cohort can go out into the work world with a greater knowledge and respect for the impact digital business has on the world. Great post!

  2. As someone who came in as a Finance major and ended up adding an Information Systems major because I was in awe of the power of technology this blog was very relatable! It is hard for some people to understand that social media is more than just a fun tool to use for your entertainment and that, as the MIT study we discussed last week covered, digital maturity is the new key to success. But, after taking this class, we will be able to explain to those people why this is arguably the most important field to be studying right now.

    Also, I think the majority of us feel this class will be difficult, but what I have come to realize is that going through this learning process together gives us a unique opportunity to share our thoughts and experiences with regard to the class material and material we find for Twitter and our blogs. This is going to give us an advantage going into the workforce as there are not many classes that allow you to collaborate and develop a strong understanding of several topics in the always changing, crucially important digital world. Overall, this was a great post. I also hope that the work continues to be something that is entertaining and enjoyable rather than a chore. Let’s continue making the IS6621 community one that’s too interesting not to follow!

  3. I liked how you approached this blog post from various angles, speaking about expectations, fears, areas of excitement (among other things). Specifically, however, I was drawn to the following statement regarding engagement: “It forces us to not only read and listen to a lecture, but to engage each other and the technology around us, while continually asking questions and pushing further into questions or topics.” Frequently, people claim that technology has allowed us to behave in a more solitary fashion and reduced human interaction overall. I think you have highlighted a unique characteristic of this class. Though it is technology focused and enabled, we may be forced to interact with each other more than any others we have taken before.

  4. I think those are the right expectations. Not a class, but an important part of your day. Those are the students who get the most out of it, not those who treat it like a class.

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