“Visiobibliophobia.” For most people, this word is entirely unfamiliar, sparking confusion similar to that felt above by our friend Ron Burgundy. While some may understand that it refers to some form of phobia, it is not commonplace by any means. According to Uncyclopedia, this term was first coined in an “attempt to properly describe a growing fear of the popular social networking site Facebook.” In time, however, it has since come to “include fears of a wide variety of social media platforms such as Twitter and Foursquare.” I was quite interested to discover that there has actually been a great deal of research on this topic. Uncyclopedia, alone, details causes, classes, and even treatments for the so-called condition. (For more information, check out: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Visiobibliophobia, https://www.uzu-media.com/blog/2016/06/13/are-you-scared-of-social-media, #visiobibliophobia)
I would not be surprised if many of you have asked yourselves, “Where the heck is this going?” Well, here is your answer. While I have willingly chosen to enroll in a course entitled Social Media and Digital Business, it is quite possible I, too, may suffer from “Visiobibliophobia”… or at least, that is what many of my close friends would tell you. Unlike many of my peers, I am not an active participant in social media. During my freshman year, I found that I was spending more time on Facebook than I would have liked (to say the least). In the middle of writing a paper, I would log into Facebook for just a QUICK break. Often, however, I would find myself still scrolling over an hour later, completely unaware of how I traveled to the page at hand. While I would be tagged in pictures and occasionally posted for a friend’s birthday, I did very little in the way of content. I never posted pictures, videos, or updates on my life. To begin the new year, I decided that I was going to take a break from Facebook. Maybe it would be good for me. After all, there were more productive things I could do with my time then mindlessly scan and like photos.
Much to my surprise, the break became permanent. To this day, I still do not have Facebook. While Snapchat has found its way into my life, I never made an Instagram or personal Twitter account.
I know…it’s shocking. To many, including my friends, this is an anomaly and often an inconvenience. In my opinion, however, I have avoided some of the common challenges and annoyances that social media seems to present. I don’t want to be married to my accounts, agonizing over photo captions, posing for extended periods to get the perfect shot. I don’t want to feel as though I have to constantly check my feeds to avoid getting behind. I have seen the fear of judgment and incivility, and that is not something to which I would like to subject myself.
I do, however, feel as though I am falling a bit behind. As technology develops so rapidly, I do not want to be at a disadvantage, especially as I enter the workforce. I know that strategic use of social media and technology are essential as we move forward. They are no longer useful tools for some. So, during my final semester of school, I think this course will be a great way to shift my mentality and get myself up to date.
I did not know what to expect from this course, as it seems typical textbook/lecture style would be neither feasible nor appropriate. I am looking forward to an alternative, freeform environment as it will definitely allow us to share unique interests and diverse perspectives. I hope, as well, that this course might reduce my own visiobibliophobia, as I approach what appears to be the overwhelming world of social media.