This Social Media Theory journey has been enjoyable, but much more difficult than I even imagined. I knew what my challenges would be at the beginning. Hurdles like lack of experience, being a digital immigrant and the whole ‘behind the curve’ identity I have yoked myself with perennially plague me. And most of those realities played a part.
But nothing was as difficult for me during this course as was overcoming my innate tendency to be a late adopter. Repeatedly when assignments came around, a general, life-long habit to wait/psych myself up to trying new ways of social media interaction caused dread and anxiety and often caused me to wait too long. Indeed, I got very far behind in this course–more so than I might’ve ever in any other college course. I’m not proud of that.
Miraculously and as it turns out, my tendency to be a late adopter is not from incapability (or from fear of it, at least). I can happily report at the end that, more often than I expected, navigating and wrangling new forms of social media endeavor was far easier than I guessed and was always enjoyable. It was good to learn as a sidebar to the course that I’m not a total idiot, whether I might’ve felt that way a few times in the last few months or not. Indeed, I’ve made myself proud, where the ‘how to’ aspect of the course comes into play.
But on the notion of the use and practice aspect of social media, I can honestly say that a comprehensive retrospective provides me with a somewhat decent handle on the scope of how social media works for creating an online presence. Managing and maintaining the sites is constant work. But it’s more than just creating content and making sure everything is current. It’s about doing so with a cohesive mentality and with an appropriate message for a targeted audience in mind. It’s about branding. And it’s about making the most of the respective social media’s functionality as it most appropriately benefits the brand.
I’ll admit, my own brand has been all over the map this semester. What I intended to create with the GayGaze blog was/is just too uncomfortable for me. So, in light of that, I changed courses midstream to promote my creative writing on the journal blog. And I’ll have to confess that I didn’t live up to my self-challenges on that front either.
In effect, all of these observations lead to a perspective that I did not expect to gain by the end of this course: social media management is a tough job. It’s a busy job. And now more significantly than ever, I see that it is an important job. And I feel incredibly more equipped to tackle it if a professional opportunity ever comes my way.