The End Is Near…


Looking back to when this wild journey began, I can’t help but to look back and remember all the “green” minds nervously awaiting their plunge into the world of social media and blogging. With no clear direction, other than the proposed topic that was up for discussion, I remember thinking how the heck we were going to not only squeeze all of the material in, let alone engage the entire class week in and week out.

For someone who is very personal, the thought of blogging seemed so farfetched. Yet in a weird way, it challenged me to step outside the four walls of my mind and share my perspective on how I view technology, and the way it has affected my thought-process, and its mark on society. One of the most challenging aspects of providing material (whether it be via Twitter or these blogs) was to ensure I was shedding light on thought-provoking topics, as well as maintaining a theme as a means to encapsulate all my posts. In a sense, I wanted to push conventional topics. I wanted to challenge the norms with posts like:

  • “A Digital & Physical Conversion”and how analytics is trying to preemptively figure out your consumer habits.
  • “It’s Cool To Be Boring” and Elon Musk’s idea of seamlessly integrating automated transportation tunnels
  • “Sneaky Transactionsand Pornhub’s partnership with cryptocurrencies.

But outside of my own thoughts on digital business, one of the most captivating pieces we discussed was Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus. Throughout the years, society has somehow been displaced from their own realities through the introduction of various levers. Whether it was with the Gin craze, television, or the internet, all three levers (devices) have made significant impacts in how we as a society interact. And if we take those same ideals and apply them today to topics like cryptocurrencies, the Cambridge Analytics fiasco and Fake News, we get to experience the cycle repeating itself in real-time. Each of these recently trending topics have helped alleviate or intensify the stressors of coping with technology.

Technology is teaching us to value how efficient the world is becoming. Further, AI is inspiring new ways of interacting and doing business. News, information, stories, etc. are at arm’s length. Social media platforms like Twitter have really enabled users to expedite their “own” learning experiences. Its challenging us to continue learning and to stay informed. To not be fooled, and investigate truth. And while we may not have all of the answers, technology is motivating us to continue to be better.

In the end, I would have never imagined that such an unstructured approach to understanding social media, digital business, and all of the other fascinating technology topics could have such a profound way of not only resonating with me, but with my peers. As the final hour’s tick away, I’m thankful to have shared the classroom with so many brilliant individuals. Whether you were an MBA or an undergraduate, everyone brought something special to the table. Those will be the experiences and teachable moments I will take with me as I begin the transition back to the real world.

Lastly, let’s not forget who helped create this unique opportunity. Its only fitting that I end my blogpost with Professor Kane. Perhaps most will be too young to remember, but in its own unique way, #IS6621 enabled us to create our own Dead Poet Society. A place where we could safely express how we feel about technology, what the future holds, and how its transforming our lives. So, here’s to you, Oh Captain – My Captain!


Godspeed, and for the last time…thank you for kikinitwithraf!





  1. jennypenafiel11 · ·

    I like how you highlighted the different levers that have made an impact on society in the past and how we are living through more right now! Its hard to see when its all happening so fast around you but when you get the opportunity to be in a class like IS6621, you really get to break it down and understand the changes happening. The really well thought out blog posts like yours definitely helped in that process. I also think your line on how we need “to not be fooled, and investigate truth” is short but so true. Part of understanding is learning to decipher what is fact. We’ve gotten some experience sorting through information in this class and now we can take it with us moving forward to always investigate the truth.

  2. kylepdonley · ·

    Is that first GIF the guy from Pawnstars? I enjoyed reading your posts this semester, Raf, and hearing your perspectives during our small group discussions. You have a nice way of balancing excitement for the new with nostalgia and memory of the past. I think that balance will be an important part of helping shape our technological world, so that we don’t stray too far into what we ‘can’ versus what we ‘should’ do as a society. Also, your pop culture are always on point – which is appreciated. Cheers!

  3. DingnanZhou · ·

    Glad to see Thanos in a GIF at the very beginning of this final blog. I like your deep understanding of technology. Yes, this class has been teaching the word “technology” in multiple aspects, and what we are about to learn in our last class is the dark side about it. You have been a great blogger, I feel that @kylepdonley has spoken my compliments. One thing I like about this class is that the class has a mixture of undergrads and MBA students. Reading their blogs and getting their insights from class in some way guide us to think in a more mature way. Good luck and keep up!

  4. mqzhang · ·

    Thanks for sharing your reflections, Raf! And thank you for adding to a wonderful semester. I think the cognitive value of having so many diverse opinions in this class has been one of the greatest aspects of coming in every week. I can confidently say that my viewpoints and outlooks have been changed for the better after having attended these weekly meetings. I’m sure most of us have had the negative experience of attending that odd class where few people contribute or participate as much as we would have liked to see, and that creates a stagnant environment where the professor simply leads us to the answers instead of prodding us to find them on our own. Because this has been such dynamic and engaging session, I think we have all finished the year that much better.

  5. Addison LeBeau · ·

    Great post! I really liked how you mentioned that your biggest challenge was shedding light on thought-provoking topics, which I think shows how seriously you took the course. Some people would just write the blog to get the assignment out of the way, but you clearly thought about the material and the audience you are reaching, which I applaud. Additionally – I agree with your shoutout to Prof. Kane. I think the way he ran this course led to some great discussions that were invaluable! Well done, and I especially enjoyed our small group sessions together – you had great contributions!

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