Week 1: Lessons, Expectations, and Roles

Day one has passed, and I know I’ve only stuck my pinkie toe in the water, but the excitement I had to meet the class and ask some of the big questions we’ll tackle in this course was well rewarded. Everyone brought up really great points, opinions, and experiences, and Salesforce: Social Media TextI have to say that I have never been part of such a diverse group of fellow peers. It’s also exciting to find a fellow knitter who can concentrate better with a pair of needles in her hand (shoutout to you, Carol).

I like to think of expectations as guidelines to how I best want to experience a class, rather than defined desires and goals, because expectations not only change over the course of a quarter, but you end up discovering new ones that you didn’t realize you had and putting other ones to the side. It’s also surprisingly common for expectations to be fulfilled in ways you didn’t expect but are just as satisfactory, if not more so, and it leads you to modify your definitions. I have here some general thoughts as to what I expect out of this course and out of myself as a member of the community, but they are open to revision and evolution as we get to know each other better and dirty our hands with the material:

1. Thoughtful, provocative, informed, and fun co-teaching sessions, both from myself and from my peers.

2. Deep engagement with all of our various communicative outlets (Wiki, blog, forum, etc.) in order to continue learning outside of the classroom and provide food for thought.

3. Openness, respect, and collaboration during class discussions, both in and out of the classroom.

I hope that I can contribute to my own expectations just as much, if not more, than my peers can, and I invite anyone who sees me falling short of the guidelines that I have set for myself to let me know, as I would for you.

Finally, a thought on the role of social media: Although we can clearly define platforms and examples of social media in our day to day lives, social media’s full impact on society is not easy to understand and the roles that social media plays are numerous. Just from my personal experience, social media has provided entertainment, casual and formal socialization, an avenue for social change, innovation, news sources, opportunities to self-reflect…the list goes on and on. Just as much as we can click, type, and scroll through social media, it is also an nebulous, intangible resource that serves a seemingly infinite number of functions for its widespread audience. As a very broad definition, social media is the manifestation of a new method of communication that allows people to connect and share ideas. What those ideas are, how they may or may not be brought into the real world, and what implications they have on the world at large are up to the communicators, and the possibilities are endless. What I can think of as the most general role that social media plays is that it serves as a conduit for human interaction: it is active in defining the virtual world that users participate in, but passive in that the users drive its growth and development.