Final reflections on social media and digital business

What I learned the past semester in this wonderfully dynamic and engaging class can’t be easily summed in a blog entry, but here goes my best efforts:

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The world changes quickly

Although we’re oftentimes told to look to the future for opportunities and new developments, few of us actually realize how quickly the future becomes the present. Who would have guessed that Uber, upon its creation, would quickly reinvent our very concept of “taking a ride”? Did anyone anticipate “fake news” becoming a trending subject that made us question the integrity of our news institutions? What about the rise of monthly pricing models as the new means of paying for media/content consumption? Finally, who among us would have guessed that Facebook reaps our data in droves for profit? (alright, that was an easy one) All of these developments have gained a foothold in our society within a few years or less. If you had kept your head down for even a brief period this past year, you would have quite a bit of catching up to do once you looked around you.

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Advancement isn’t always our next saviour

As demonstrated by the controversy surrounding AI research, not all new developments are universally-welcomed. As we approach the third decade of the new millenium, increasingly advanced technology will cause us to question the definition of privacy, convenience, and innovation. Innovating for innovation’s sake isn’t always a welcome endeavor, and those who think the next big thing will always benefit society may be too short sighted to realize that technology, as a whole, is merely a tool for an end. What that end may be depends on completely on who is wielding it. A craftsman may use a hammer to build a house, but a burglar will use that same hammer to break into that house. For this reason, responsive and capable oversight will be a necessity, moving forward. This means our current members of Congress are vastly unsuited to tackle the problems facing our ever-advancing world.

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The best defense is a good offense

As technology develops and renders certain employment opportunities redundant, our best bet will to remain flexible, both mentally and professionally. Never stop learning, as knowledge is our greatest asset in staying relevant in this constantly shifting job market. The moment we let complacency take over, we become potential targets for the next wave of technological innovation to usurp us. I don’t claim that “no job is safe” from technology, but who would have thought that travel agents and tour guides have become obsolete due to the rise of the smartphone? Don’t panic in thinking that the world is ending tomorrow, but simply stay on your toes, and keep an ear to the ground.

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The value of your peers is immeasurable

You guys have taught me an incredible amount in these short few months. I couldn’t have imagined that the lessons gleaned from this class would take on a life of their own, but they have! Concepts and lessons we review each week have been reiterated and explored in various ways through the interactions we have on this very blog and on Twitter, where news and changes about the “next big thing” appear as surely as the sun does each morning. I can confidently say that no other class has led me to be as introspective about myself and reflective on our society as this one has. I will take the lessons learned this past semester with me forever, and I hope each one of you does the same, for there is no greater value in educating and pulling each other up than to take lessons learned from others to heart. Thank you to everyone who contributed and shared their thoughts this semester; it wouldn’t have been the same without you!

 

With that said, I’d like to quote a favorite movie of mine to say:

“It’s over. Go home!”

7 comments

  1. markdimeglio · ·

    Nice post! I really like all of your reflections. I think your takeaway of advancement isn’t always our next savior is a particularly good one, as we’ve definitely learned thus far that tech advances are not always a good thing. Facebook’s dating feature that they just released seems particularly fitting for that point.

    Additionally, I also agree that in today’s world, we will need to stay flexible and be able to continually learn in order to stay relevant and to keep up with the times.

  2. Keenan Neff · ·

    Great post. I really like your the best defense is a good offense takeaway. Your claim that no job is safe cannot be more true. In the future, we have no idea what jobs are going to be like and what skills they entail. We need to focus on constantly learning new things and new skills so that when those new jobs come out, we will be ready to take them on. Knowledge is our greatest asset, so we cannot forget to keep feeding our greatest asset by continually becoming more and more eager to learn. If all jobs are taking over by AI in the future, at least we all have blogging to fall back on!

  3. RayCaglianone · ·

    Great job and nice summary of the big concepts, the last one especially rings really true for me. Through Twitter, WordPress, and in class I’ve learned so much about technological trends that were utter mystery to me just months before. Really puts into perspective the unique knowledge that everyone is bringing to the table, almost no blog post or presentation was super alike and I think that is really valuable for the learning process as a whole. I definitely want to keep that collaborative ethic preserved in any of future endeavors to come!

  4. DingnanZhou · ·

    Nice post! I think the rapid development of technology would bring more convenience than anxiety. Totally agree on “the best defense is a good offense” strategy. we have to be flexible and keep learning. Be well-aware of the new trending technology and be prepared. Instead of saying no, but embrace it and grow with it. I have been following your post since your presentation on Algo trading. Your posts and tweets have been great! Keep up and best luck on everything!

  5. graceglambrecht · ·

    think this blog, specifically about advancement, will relate really well to our upcoming class today. All of what we are learning about is very new and unknown and changing at paces we have never experienced. I have, like you, valued everyones insights and the conversations we have had to understand as best we can the changing digital world and landscapes around us! Always keep learning, reading, growing as a collective generation.
    This your point about focusing on the implications of what is happening digitally in the world is super important and something I didn’t really touch on very much. As these technologies become easier to develop, we need to really look at what these technologies will actually mean for society, and how they will help AND hurt in the future.

  6. realjakejordon · ·

    This was a great blog. It was very articulate and I felt like you hit on some good points, the big one to me being the idea, as Bobby put it in his rap, as did Prof Kane before him, “The job I have hasn’t been invented yet.” I think that idea of staying on your toes has to be the biggest takeaway from this class. What we learn in other classes isn’t the most important thing, because it could become outdated with a patent at any time. So I guess the trick is to stay malleable, and you did a great job of articulating that with “The best defense is a good offense.” Great post, again!

  7. bc_eagle1 · ·

    I think your post is good on reflecting that it’s ok to be a jack of all trades and experiment because we need to keep our brains fresh and adaptable. I’ll go ahead and credit our time together with your positive mindset!!!

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