Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to demean church, god, or any religion.
Why do people go to church? They check in weekly to listen to a preacher, minister, or priest tell them the stories of the Bible. Churchgoers are reminded of how God is important in their lives and the right path to follow. It helps them stay in check with how they should live their lives. And of course, people love to socialize with others at church and feel connected as a community. A few weeks into my social media class, IT107, I was listening to another "sermon" from Tony Stanislawski about how important social media is when I thought this class is really like going to church.
When I started the class, I was excited because I had not kept up with technological advances over the past 20 years. I liked the idea of this class bringing me up-to-date instead of having to do it on my own time; which I have none of. As the class went on, I realized being involved in social media was so much more than just staying current. I not only learned the value in social media and the connections it could bring to me in the job market, I actually became a believer.
4 weeks into the class, I was only checking Twitter, LinkedIn, or my RSS feed while I was in class. Week after week, I wasn't really participating in social media outside of class unless it was for an assignment. It's ironic, because even though social media and smartphones are everywhere, it's still easy enough to carry on with life without using any of these tools. After Tony would start talking about and showing us these tools, I would totally remember why and how I should be using social media through out my day. His lectures put me back on the right path. He would "preach" about reading our feed daily to stay in touch and making that connection with social media. He would share how others were using it with inspirational stories. The excitement about these tools and the true belief in what he was saying made converts out of almost every student in the class. I began to worry about what would happen when this class was over. Without going to this class, how would I remember why it's important to make social media part of my day and life? How would I stay current?
In the past few weeks, I can say I have committed myself . It took a long while for this to truly happen. This class has been a place to come to and connect with other people in IT in a way I am not able to in other classes. It's funny, because even though some of the other students are in my other classes, this class is where we talk like we are not even in class. I have been so inspired by what other people are doing. I also love reading other people's posts on Twitter and articles about what I find new and interesting in technology. There is so much out there. It's endless. What else can you say that about? Now when I have a thought, I want to Tweet about it. I even look forward to blogging, which was always outside my comfort zone. All the things I started out doing, because they were an assignment or because I want to get a job in IT, are now part of my daily routine.
Now when I hear, "Do you believe in the power of social media? I can shout "Amen. I believe."