Started from the bottom, now we here*. (In terms of social media that is )

It’s with a sad heart that I must share that my time here in this class is coming to an end. I know, I know, I’m shedding tears as well. But do not fret because this is only the beginning of my journey in the Advertising & Public Relations realm. But before we discuss the future, let’s take a quick look back and see how far we’ve come, well, how far I’ve come. You’ll have to do your own self-evaluation.

As I think about the first few classes of this course, I knew that this was going to be my favorite course this semester, or possibly my entire college career. But I am so happy to say that it completely and utterly exceeded my expectations. Frankly, I knew that I was pretty skilled in the technology department. I run a wedding cinematography business and grew up with an Apple-loving-engineer of a dad who always had the latest gadgets in our household, so technology was ingrained in my veins. I’m basically the IT department of the organizations I’m involved in and known as “Steve Jobs” to my roommates. So upon entering this class, I knew I would love it, but hoped that it would challenge me as well.

And it did. Learning InDesign to produce magazine layouts, editing pictures with new tactics and methods, becoming Google Analytics certified and now working on my HootSuite certification, I have come out on the other side of this class with a full toolbox of knowledge that will be directly applicable to the industry.

This class has made me unbelievably excited for the future. One of the most exciting things about this particular field is that no one knows what the future will hold, especially with Social Media. Just a decade ago, the majority of the technology we can no longer live without wasn’t even invented yet. With Facebook’s 11th anniversary this year, it still continues to dominate the online landscape with nearly 1.5 billion active monthly users worldwide according to We Are Social (Kemp 2015). But with that many people on one platform, what is going to happen? It seems as if the world is slowly going crazy, will that transfer over to social media? The Huffington Post thinks not. Payam Zamani, co-founder of Shout the Good, thinks that the “future of social media will be built on positive psychology,” (Zamani 2015). The research already shows this. 92% of millennials believe that businesses should be measured more by social impact than by profit. 61% feel personally responsible to make a positive difference in the world (Zamani 2015).

Let’s think about this for a second. Imagine your Facebook timeline this past week. I’m not sure if it’s the same for you, but it seems to be that the older my friends on Facebook are, the more negative content they post. My younger friends usually (not all the time) tend to post content that is uplifting and more positive, i.e. wayyyy more funny cat videos than my older friends. This is because the millennials are craving a way to be a part of positive social change. And through the usage of technology and social media, they have a voice to try and impact that.

According to new research, the feelings that others are expressing via Facebook can be spread to anyone reading them (Wedyka 2014). James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at University of California, knew that emotions spread within face-to-face networks and was curious to see if the same thing would occur even if there was a screen in-between. The results said that they did. The negative posts created more negative ones and the positive posts created more positive ones, but the degree of multiplication of the posts was what was special. One negative post would yield one additional negative post, but a positive one would create one to two additional positive posts (Wedyka 2014). So the next time you’re thinking about writing a post complaining about the rainy weather or the terrible traffic you’re in, maybe refrain.

The world of technology as we know it is changing faster than we can keep up with, and that’s what makes it so enticing to me. I don’t know where the future will take us, but I know that I want to be there wherever it does.

 

References:

Kemp, S. (2015, August 3). Global Digital Snapshot: August 2015. In We Are Social. Retrieved from http://wearesocial.net/blog/2015/08/global-statshot-august-2015/

Wedyka, S. (2014, April 1). 5 Ways to Use Social Media to Stay Positive. In ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/ways-social-media-stay-positive/story?id=23129988

Zamani, P. (2015, October 1). The Future of Social Media Will Be Built With Positive Psychology. In Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/payam-zamani/the-future-of-social-medi_b_8228558.html

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