Final Reflections: Full Circle

I can officially say that I’m a Twitter connoisseur! Well, not really. But this class has definitely been a learning experience, one that has given me an appreciation for the various stunning ways that tech changes the way we do business and live our daily lives.

This final blog has easily been the hardest to write of any of them, which is pretty funny to me as I look back at my primary worries entering the class. That initial blog post, written when I was still in my post-Black Mirror binge (accompanied by the inevitable heightened tech paranoia), was full of stress about how I was going to find interesting things to talk about. This has been my first true blog experience, and as I said in that first post, I was new to the role as a content creator. I certainly didn’t feel qualified to talk about some of the biggest tech trends of the day, and I felt like writers’ block was setting in ever before I got started. That’s why that first blog post is mostly a rambling rumination on the general perception I had of technology instead of anything specific. Leading up to that first tailored post, I wracked my brain for the formula to an engaging blog. Could I keep people’s interest with my surface-level knowledge of…Tesla? Well, we did do a case study on them in my Applied Marketing class! Mark Zuckerberg? Hey, I’ve seen The Social Network! Bitcoin? Wait, I don’t even know what Bitcoin is…

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But the amount of freedom given to us students, while at first daunting, has allowed me to explore some of my biggest interests through the lens of digital business. I can definitely say that when I enrolled at Boston College I never expected to be writing a blog post about my favorite NBA Twitter reporters. And yet, here I was, a couple weeks in and explaining the concept of a “Woj Bomb” to my fellow classmates. An idea that had for years been a Reddit inside joke was now going to be part of my course deliverables! For every blog I wrote I was able to find something that I had a real interest in, and doing research never felt like a chore. I was researching the NBA, the entertainment industry, and the science behind music streaming. I was learning in an interactive way, melding my hobbies and academics into a singular whole. I did a presentation on March Madness, for God’s sake, with complete free reign as long as I ensured it was relevant to class. I can genuinely say that no other class has given that same outlet, and all the challenges were well worth it. I don’t think any other CSOM class I’ve been in has cultivated that same kind of independent research – generally you have your syllabus and you stick to it. At the very least, there’s certainly no CSOM class where I got to talk about Martin Scorsese!

 

What do these guys have in common? I wrote about them!

Martin Scorsese          Tuma Basa                  Adrian Wojnarowski

And of course, I wasn’t alone in the endeavor. In my first blog I wrote about being excited for the collaborative aspect of class, for learning from my fellow classmates on Twitter, WordPress, and in class discussions. The scope of the topics that everyone else has covered is extremely impressive, running the gamut from philanthropy, personal experiences in internships, and even stories of app development. I’ve learned so much about topics that I really had no exposure to at all before this class (blockchain, I’m, looking at you), and it’s always a true learning experience to check out that #IS6621 Twitter feed throughout the week. It never fails to amaze me how much knowledge people are bringing to the table, helped further by the unique blend in this class between undergrad and graduate students. Since everyone is afforded the same freedom, it’s like you get a little hint of everybody’s interests and personality with their class profiles. I got to admit, I’ll be a little sad to lose that ritual of checking the Tweets and blogs every week.

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I think it’s really kind of perfect that the new season of “Black Mirror” came out just as class started, and now that class is ending we have the new season of “Westworld”. Both shows are dark, bleak looks at the ways humanity can fall prey to the seductive evils of technology. Both suggest that the future is one where unchecked technological advancement ultimately harms humanity, not helps it. And yet, I’m not writing this final blog about Westworld. As fun as shows like that are, every day you can find exciting usages of technology that are advancing society as we know it. I think the way that we learn in this class is sort of a microcosm of the ways that technological change can be positive as a whole. With eyes towards a more collaborative and connected future, we can enjoy our speculative fiction while remaining thankful for tech and the progress it represents. I don’t think I was ever really anti-tech, and it’s not like this class has erased doubts, but at the very least it’s provided a balanced and diverse look at the limitless boundaries of the tech landscape.

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