“Now the semester is nearing its end, I’m excited to regain some semblance of a social life,” he says, pretending he had a social life to begin with, “but the feeling is an entirely bittersweet one.”
As I sit down to write this personal blog post, sacrificing the vision I had for this blog whilst confined to the computer lab on the fifth floor of NYU’s Midtown campus, I realize that I am going to miss my Social Media Objectives class. There’s one reason for this; and it certainly wasn’t the journey I made each Wednesday to the bowels of Manhattan, on two separate, crowded trains, late at night.
It’s because of the people.
Over the weeks, we became a tight-knit hub of social information. Much to my delight, during the first twenty minutes of each class, we got to discuss what we had seen on social media during the week. I say to my delight because there were only so many more “I saw that days ago” or “have you seen this (insert tweet, YouTube video, or Facebook post here)?” comments my roommates could take. Through the class, we had a captive audience with which we could share our passion of social media. I think my roommates welcomed the break.
My career, up until this point, has been heavily biased towards social media management. When I first took up this role, I felt like something of a fraud. I remember assuming that it was something everyone could do and that, over the years, the creative control in my position would be phased out as managers became more comfortable with the medium. Although, by the time I had been accepted to start my M.S degree program at NYU, I had largely come around to the notion that it was far more specialized than I first believed; there was still a part of me that needed reasons in which to be able to justify my position.
Walking into class back in January, I believed my background in social media would help me greatly. For a little while, it did. After delving into the nitty-gritty of the social media world, however, I learnt that there was a lot of detailed information I hadn’t previously come across. Social media is a specialist career in every sense of the word.
So, what did I learn? Many things. One thing in particular surprised me:
Over the course of the fourteen weeks, I learnt that the social world is far more cut-and-dry and far more regulated than I believed it to be. In some instances, crippling fines can be issued for the incorrect placement, or incorrect usage, of a hashtag. Hashtags such as #Sponsored or #AD need to be put in a prominent place; preferably at the beginning of the social media communication. They can’t be placed after a link, in case the link is clicked and the disclosure missed. And, yes, you must always disclose if the tweet or post is biased in any way.
But will I continue to blog?
I’d like to continue blogging. It’s all a matter of managing my time. When I first created this blog in 2012 I was posting on a daily basis – something which didn’t prove to be sustainable. After a year-long hiatus, this course had me posting every week. Although far more manageable, I’m not sure how achievable this will be once I begin my second semester. Just like social media as a whole, it’s all about coming up with a realistic schedule and finding a happy medium.