Somewhat Warranted Opinions on #IS6621

For my first blog of the semester I wrote about the unwanted and unwarranted opinions I had received about taking a class called Social Media and Digital Business. Now that I have taken the class, I hope to share a few somewhat warranted opinions on the class and what I am taking away from #IS6621.

The process of coming up with blogs is revealing.

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In reading blog posts all semester I was struck by how much I feel like I know some of you now. I know @addisonbc2018 has a passion for fashion and that @danmiller315 loves sports and his family owns a baseball card store. I really enjoyed the blogs because I found most of the blogs we all wrote related to a cool experience we have had or something we are passionate about – Fortnite, fashion, food. I wrote about trust, Georgia sports, my GE internship, the Olympics, and the Global Goals, which I think covers who I am pretty well. I know this makes sense that we blog about things relating to us, but I still find it funny reflecting back on my process writing the blogs. Every week I would sit down and surf the web for cool companies or topics, but I always found myself resorting back to something relating to me or an experience I have had.

I like looking back at the blogs too and seeing the order I wrote them in because I think that mirrors my journey through class and through my understanding of technology. I went from broadly writing about the need for trust, citing some of the dangers or my fears of trusting technology, to finishing my blogging with writing about integrating technology into sustainability. I never thought I would continue to blog after this class, and to be honest I probably won’t, but I think the process of brainstorming for blogs was a revealing look into what I am passionate about and how technology intersects with that. I want to challenge myself to continue to try to think like this as I continue to discern my passions and interact with technology.

It is important to be informed.

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I, as I think most of you would agree, did not come away from the class with a clear good or bad stance on technology, but rather a more well-rounded, informed view. This need to be informed has been a theme throughout some of my classes and clubs this semester, and it is a big takeaway I have from this class as well. Through each of our classes I felt this was an underlying message. Technology is complex and hard to grasp, which can easily be used as an excuse to not stay informed. I know before entering this class blockchain was just “too complex to be worth my time studying,” but I now see the need and importance of understanding and being informed. Not only is there a need to stay informed, but I think understanding technology and its implications is a huge competitive advantage. This class has been great motivation to continue using Twitter and to push myself to be a continual learner.

The wisdom of crowds is powerful.

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This was the biggest takeaway I have from this class. You all are incredible people with so much passion and intelligence. I loved coming to class every week and hearing people’s unique perspectives. As everyone has mentioned, the undergrad/grad structure brought such depth to experiences and perspectives, and I wish more classes were structured like that.

Beyond all of you in the class, I found so many blogs or class discussions revolved around collective intelligence and the wisdom of crowds. While the class definitely scared me about technology a time or two, I think it also showed us the deep power of people. As I wrote about in my last blog post, companies are able to crowdsource volunteers to places of need in Africa. I saw this in @markdimeglio presentation on his app and the powerful team he has built around him, and in @walshqh blog about everything it took to make the Harry Potter video. The last class on the future of work brought it all together for me in that, while we need to continue to innovate and integrate technology, finding how to humanly interact with it is going to be so important. This is going to have to become a societal problem to solve, not just a technology or business problem. I now realize, while technology is hugely important and we must understand it, we cannot lose sight of the people using it.

Thank you @geraldckane and all of IS6621 for all the learnings and the spark to be a continual learner – maybe we can continue our Twitter thread under a new hashtag??

9 comments

  1. kseniapekhtere1 · ·

    Good closing post, Katie. I definitely agree with everything you said. I also enjoyed reading the blog post about what my classmates are passionate about. I learned so much about topics that I would never care to research on my own. I feel like after every IS6621 class I had something cool to share with my friends. It is not something I am used since usually my classes are accounting related. And you are right about the importance of being informed. And as someone who has never used Twitter before, I realized it was a great way to learn news since it is quick and covers a broad range of topics.

  2. HenryChenChen · ·

    Great post, thank you for sharing your insights. I agree with your point that the wisdom of the crowds is powerful, and I also think this is my biggest takeaway from this course. One nice thing about the course is that we were able to learn from each other, from the presentation, blog, twitter, discussions. This helped us to absorb so much information from others, such as different platforms and the implications of them.
    I also agree that this class can motivate us to use Twitter to continue to learn because the world of technology changes rapidly.

  3. Addison LeBeau · ·

    Katie, great post and thanks for the shoutout! I have to say the part that resonated with me the most when was you talked about how the process of brainstorming for blog posts helped reveal what you were passionate about. I completely agree that the process of brainstorming was one of the most insightful parts of the course, and I seemed to always circle back to topics I had the most experience with. Additionally, I agree that I didn’t leave with a “good” or “bad” stance on social media, just a more informed opinion! Well done!

  4. JohnWalshFilms · ·

    Such a great post, Katie, and so grateful for the shoutout!! I really appreciate that your major takeaway was an even stronger confidence in humanity – from knowing you and the type of person you are, that makes so much sense to me, but I really agree with you – it’s powerful to see what a group of informed, thoughtful, and creative people can accomplish. I really appreciated your blogs throughout the semester, and wishing you the best of luck going forward!

  5. roarkword · ·

    Great final post Katie! I really enjoyed your sentiment about needing to learn how to humanly interact with technology if we are going to stay relevant in today’s world of work. This went hand in hand perfectly with your point about bothering to stay informed while the field of technology seems to get harder and harder to grasp and only gets more incomprehensible. As humans, we need to continually strive to interact with technology and learn as it develops, otherwise we will lag behind and only those who bother to learn will reap the benefits of their use. You’re right, we can’t lose sight of the people using the technology, and that is one of my biggest take aways from the class as well.

  6. markdimeglio · ·

    Nice post, Katie! I think you’re insights are really good here. Specifically, I think your takeaway of not having a good or bad view of technology is especially wise. Like many things, technology can be used in good or bad ways. The best thing we can do is equip ourselves with a well rounded understanding of technology and prepare ourselves and others around us for its potential impact.

    And lastly, I totally agree with you about the power of the collective. As you mentioned, I totally learned this the hard way working on my app and its definitely something I will take with me going forward!

    Again, nice final post Katie!

  7. murphycobc · ·

    I love your perspective on how the blogs show a bit of our selves to the word in capsule. Its true I posted about the things that meant a lot to me and really show where my passions are – and I quite honestly didn’t think about it that way, they were just topics that I thought people might want to hear about! But you learned a lot about a person on the topics they chose.

    And I’m running with the #. I’m thinking we braintstorm on that #6621alumni #Isurvived6621 #creepycoolline

    Great post!

  8. Molly Pighini · ·

    As others have said, this was a great post. I am honestly impressed! You synthesized an entire semester of extremely diverse discussions into three key takeaways. Furthermore, it was clear, insightful, and relatable. I, too, feel the blogging process was personally revealing. The range of topics was amazing, and it became clear that people blogged about areas that were important/interesting to them. It really was a great way to get to know the class and learn something new at the same time. Additionally, I saw the importance of staying informed as well. With the wealth of information available to us, there really is no excuse for ignoring it. At the beginning of the semester, I was quite skeptical about the value in Twitter. “Why do people feel the need to provide minute by minute updates of their lives?” I’d ask myself. In just a few weeks, I found Twitter was used for an entirely different purpose, and I actually enjoyed it.

  9. Great post. I have only had one student continue blogging after this class (that I know of). You are, however, welcome to continue using and following the #IS6621 hashtag. Alumni chime in (and follow) all the time!

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