In light of Scott Kleinberg’s latest blog post, No social media for you? No way, I have decided that it is time to take a stand against those who do not understand or appreciate social media. In Scott’s post, he talks about Provost Eric Darr of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and his interesting case study that requires students to rid themselves of social media for a week.
Two things immediately came to my mind:
a) If I was in this situation, I would be completely useless for my communications internship at the Red Cross where I work primarily in social media.
b) I would probably drop the class.
Now maybe you think these actions are a little extreme but trust me, I could not go a week without social media for professional and mental health reasons.
My internship at the Red Cross involves promoting events and the holiday season through social media and the digital world so automatically I can see my Google Analytics visibility plummeting down the tubes. And then I would lose sleep at night because I would be constantly reflecting on how my inability to tweet about Mission: Red is going to ruin my career in the long run. This is all absurd of course but nonetheless completely true to how I operate.
My mental health would burn down because I would be constantly staring at my phone (I call him Drexy) and wondering “Where are my notifications?” or “What is going on in the world?”. Sure I could look up this information via some news website or actually watch the news on TV (what?) but that is not real time. Sure the blogs can try to update with the story as fast as possible but if something is breaking news, let’s face it, Twitter is your first live stream of information.
So my question is… Why are these kids subjecting themselves to a week of zero communication?
I would probably chain myself to the classroom door with a shirt declaring my Twitter handle.
Maybe not that far but you get the idea. I think that professors should embrace social media considering the social good movement that is currently all the rage. If you haven’t heard of Mashable’s Social Good Summit with 92Y, please check it out. Perhaps Provost Darr could learn a thing or two about the way social media has helped 174 million people get the message about Malaria. Or how the social good summit has formed goals to ensure that no child is born with HIV/AIDS by 2015.
This is a call to action. Social media is NOT just a form of meaningless socialization. The way people are using Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and all other platforms is changing. And for the better.
Join the conversation online by adding the hashtag #socialgood to your tweets (since you are not banned from social media for a week). Together, we can change the world through social media.