The Time Before and the Time of Social Media

JOUR 4460 Blog #2

By: Sarah Copeland

Back when I was in elementary school I remember always being jealous of my older sister. One day every year my dad would take her to work with him. It wasn’t until second or third grade that my dad finally took me to work with him instead of my sister. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I thought it was boring. My dad is an electrical engineer. Now I don’t know much about engineering but as a kid I would probably have told you all they do is sit at a desk and work on computers all day in a cubicle.

I didn’t want to disturb my dad while he was working so I decided to amuse myself by drawing on his whiteboard. Another thing to know about me is that I’m not a talented artist in the slightest. However, I managed to draw a rather impressive troll head. I can’t say what made me want to draw something like that but I was very proud of my troll. At that point my memory starts to fade and I’m not quite sure what happened after. I’d like to think that my dad snapped a picture of the troll for me before he erased it. Or even that he kept it up for a few days after I came to work with him.

Times have changed so much since I was a little kid. I grew up during a time when my family only owned one television, had one phone that ,yes, was up on the wall, hooked up to a landline. I grew up when cell phones went from looking like a giant brick to being smaller than your hand. I was in high school before I got my first cell phone. That was about the same time Facebook became popular and social media started to boom.

This week my communications class began setting up all the social media sites we’d need for this semester. I was never quite into Twitter or following what people posted, but social networks have become increasingly important, especially in the PR field. Consider how news is actually breaking on Twitter before major news networks. And all presidential candidates are represented on Twitter, a helpful tool during election years like this one. Communication has never been more accessible or helpful. Either you use social media to your full advantage or you don’t. From what I’m learning I’d suggest the former.

social-media-and-society-01_zpsd105a974Photo Taken from Seochat

With all the technology available today, I wonder how different my childhood would have been if the same advances were available then. For instance, would my dad have taken a picture of my drawing and posted it to Facebook or Instagram? Or maybe even have sent my mother a Snapchat of it? Would he have tweeted about take your daughter to work day with a reasonable hashtag? How many different ways would I have been able to save and share that memory? I’m happy I can still remember the days without social media. Now I just have to get used to every day with it.

 

References:

ASAE ® The Center for Association Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www.asaecenter.org/Education/trends.cfm?ItemNumber=53823

Social Media and Society: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. (2013). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www.seochat.com/c/a/social/social-media-and-society-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

The Impact of Social Media on Society – Business Opportunities. (2015). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2015/02/19/impact-social-media-society/

 

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Finding My Passion and Sticking to It

By: Sarah Copeland

 

One thing my mother always taught me while I was growing up was to think before you speak and, if you are going to speak, make sure it comes out right. Now, as a college student trying to graduate with a major in public relations, I realize how important that lesson really was.

Honestly, I would never have pictured myself where I am now. Math was always my strong suit. Unlike English classes, where there was an essay for every exam asking to analyze a certain poem or ancient novel by a famous author, math never had to be interpreted. It was what it was and I liked that. Find the value of X. Easy. I flew through calculus two in high school with a solid A and thought I was better at math than any other subject. There was only one problem: there was absolutely no career of interest for me that had to do with math. No way was I going to be an accountant or a mathematician. I liked math but not that much. So, I ignored deciding on a major, figuring I would find out when I got to college.

It wasn’t until the Dean of Honors College talked to me at an introductory meeting that things really changed. She was impressed with my SAT scores in the math section and promptly told me how I would make a good engineer. I burst into tears. This was not the career path I wanted at all. Actually, it would take another year for me to find out what I wanted.

I learned about public relations some time before my sophomore year. Because of my mother, I had always known when people had said the wrong thing. I also knew when they made mistakes and even noticed how well of a job they did when they apologized. For instance, we may not all remember what happened with Johnson& Johnson Tylenol but I’m sure all of us know about what happened with Blue Bell. What I didn’t know was that there was a career that handled those situations. Of course, public relations is such a broad subject that I really didn’t know much about it when I decided to claim PR as my major. But I took the plunge anyways.

All I can say is that it is a good thing that I am a decent student. The Mayborn School of Journalism at UNT doesn’t make it easy. If you don’t love what you are studying you won’t make it through. I powered through the media writing courses, hating every second I had to write a news story. But they were required before I could reach PR courses. I can’t say it got any easier once I finally took the classes I was working so hard to reach. One thing I learned, though, is that public relations is different for everyone. PR may be all about social media for one person and all about nonprofits for another. For me, my public relations goal is about maintaining relationships through how you verbally communicate (aka: External Affairs maybe even leaning towards HR work). This again comes from what my mother taught me and partially from the part of my personality that wants everyone to be happy.

I now find myself, as a junior, taking a capstone course in PR. According to the professor, this is a challenging choice. My professor’s knowledge of the course, and of public relations in general, makes me anxious. I’m currently trying not to drown from “drinking from the fire hose”, a phrase used by my professor which relates to another class but is still relevant for her communications course. All I can say is that, after two years of study, I still love public relations and eagerly await going out into the real world.

drinking20from20the20firehosePhoto By: InvetorSpot

We’ll see how it goes.

Bye for now,

Sarah