Final Reflections

At the beginning of this course, I had no idea what to expect. Although, I was expecting it to be much easier and less time consuming than it turned out to be. However, I have no regrets about taking this course. I learned a great deal about social media and networking, and how difficult it can be at times. The biggest learning experience, and most difficult, was the group project. We met a first obstacle when a group member dropped out. Then a second obstacle when another group member had a trauma in the family. Not only were we struggling to communicate between the three of us, but we also had troubles balancing work. When communicating across time zones, talking at the same time simply was not an option. We learned that email was not a good source of communication due to the “reply” and “reply all” options, which were hardly used correctly. We eventually found out that facebook was the easiest way to communicate. However, in the last few weeks when most meetings were just two of us, we chose to use Skype. I would definitely say we started out slow and finished with a heavy workload to balance between two people. However, I do believe that we managed quite well, and pulled off a good project. Our goal was to spread awareness of the incident and promote the cause with an emphasis on the 5k. I truly believe that we accomplished as much as we could, and brought more attention to the 5k. When I checked the website last night, there were already 183 participants signed up. Join me on the track and run or walk for a good cause!


Social Media, or Job?

According to “How to ‘clean up’ online to land that job” 70% of recruiters turn down prospective employees due to online posts. However, 97% of researchers never look beyond the first 3 pages of search results. If you cannot get rid of unwanted information, flood search results with positive or neutral information. Creating a GooglePlus profile and a LinkedIn profile often help push unwanted information down.

Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of everything, and you cannot guarantee whether or not something you post will be taken the wrong way. Justin Sacco, PR executive, was fired over a racist tweet. Just before boarding her flight to South Africa, Sacco tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Sacco did not yet realize the effects of her tweet until landing, when she then deleted her tweet and her twitter account, although too late. After Sacco made many apologetic comments, she still lost her job over the troublesome tweet taken the wrong way.

Dr.Phil was found apologizing after posting a tweet intended to evoke discussion to prepare for a serious show topic. The tweet sent from Dr. phil McGraw’s verified twitter account read “If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused.” Although intended as a poll question to prepare for a serious show topic, it was taken in a different manner from many of his 1.1 million followers.

These articles show that you should carefully consider any type of content you choose to put online. Things can often be read/interpreted in the wrong way, and could cause you serious problems in the future. In the end, the basic decision you have to make: social media, or your job. My advice, don’t let your reputation on social media ruin your chances of getting a decent job in the future.

Storm Angione

Nobody can expect that they won’t get the chance to go to their senior prom, to play their senior sports season, to graduate high school, or even to go to college. But Storm didn’t get to do these things. As his life was taken along with two others back in November, Storm lost the chance to experience the ending to his senior year, and the beginning to his new life in college. 

Storm was a senior in high school, quarterback of the football team, and starter on the basketball team. He had a free spirit, and didn’t miss his chance at fun or jokes. Not only did Storm leave behind his family, but also his girlfriend. This was a personal heartbreak for me, as his girlfriend was the little girl who grew up next door calling me her big sister. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of being taken from your first love. 

Storm was intending to further his education at The University of Akron (I was extremely excited when I saw him at our fall visit day). It’s hard to imagine a life ending with so much yet to happen. So help make Storm’s dreams a reality for others and support the #MinervaStrong scholarship fund. 

Time Zone Twist

Time zones have clearly proven to be a difficult aspect of this class, but my as difficult as the initial process of communicating online. I have taken several online classes, but this is the first to include group projects. Communicating via online sources is difficult enough, let alone trying to play different time zones to your advantage. This truly makes you appreciate the resources there are online to take advantage of. 

Time zones first proved difficult when learning about class meetings, and how they were chosen to fit both time zones. And now that our time zone has changed, it is even more difficult.

However when communicating for the group project, the time zone is not as much of an issue because of our source of communicating. We gave up on group communication through SL, because we simply could not find a mutual time for everybody without creating problems. However communicating through email and Facebook allows us to leave messages, that can be read when we have time. This allows us to work at our own pace, in our own time. 

Time zones can be a problem in many ways, especially when it is a large difference. However, I have yet to find many advantages in time zones; other than the opportunity to work with students from another country. 

Realizing that the Medium is the Message

Marshall McLuhan has some truly brilliant theories representing our realization that the medium truly is the message. His theories support the entire purpose of this class; learning to use different forms of communication. Online interactions can be taken very differently than face-to-face interactions. While interacting face-to-face is generally very easy to comprehend and understand due to the use of body language, and tone of voice, interacting online is an entirely different story. Online, through sites such as SL, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on, you can read what the person is saying, but you cannot hear them. This creates difficulties, and a greater chance of misinterpreting what that person is trying to say. This class challenges us in ways that many of us may not have been challenged before by forcing us to use new mediums to communicate of message. Through this we learn that the type of medium we use has a huge impact on how our message is portrayed. With smart phones taking over our means of communication, many people spend hours on social media sites. In this sense, it is important that we understand how to alter our message to fit the medium we are using as our source of communication.


Communication analyzation 

When we were first informed about this project, our group had several ideas, ranging from small to large organizations. One of which was ruled out when the member who proposed it dropped the course. We communicated through email with our initial ideas before taking our conversations to SL. The quick communication in SL allowed us to discuss the different ideas in detail. After a long conversation. We decided to keep one idea on the table and continue researching for other options. After hitting a dead-end on new ideas, we proceeded with MinervaStrong. I believe our communication success was decent. However, I think that while email is the easiest way to reach me, it may not be the easiest way to reach others. Facebook or Twitter may be another option we could have tried. SL is the most difficult for us because of the time difference. But one of my group members and I actually discovered that it is fairly easy to communicate over skype, the voice is also much more clear than on SL. 

Traveling the world

I decided to get on today and catch up on some much needed SL exploration. I went to Disney world on vacation this past summer, and was curious as to whether or not someone had created Disney in SL. After all, it is one of the biggest attractions in the US. And indeed, I found a tribute to Magic Kingdom. I was amazed at how similar it actually was to the RL Magic Kingdom. I was surprised however, that I could not find a single person nearby. 

 I then figured why not try to find an island, similar to the Bahamas maybe. I vacationed to the Bahamas years ago, and wasn’t quite sure that I would find it on SL, but I did find a nice island called Las Islas. It was beautiful, and actually quite relaxing despite being online. 

 Here I found two people, neither of which responded to my attempt to talk to them. So I decided to try one more place, hoping to find people willing to have a conversation. So I visited the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon in RL, but the SL version is pretty cool. I even went skydiving! 

Once again however, I failed to find people willing to talk. I supposed that if I’m up for conversation, I’m going to have to head back to the chat rooms.