The Last Class – The New Beginning

As an Asian man, my usage frequency of Social Media Sites (SNS) is after African adults, Hispanic adults, and Asian woman according to the statistic result from the Nielsen’s report. And among the group of the Asian man, I am probably one of least social person. I studied Economics in my college year and later worked in a bank. Neither my academic background nor professional experience helped me to explore more on SNS. To be honest, I never wrote any blog through my life before I took the course of social media class by Professor Benjamin. In my phone, I merely used the Chinese SNS called Wechat because no one called in China nowadays but they all message you through Wechat. It was not a major platform for sharing content. For all the popular SNS in the U.S., I only used Instagram a little bit. Even though I had a twitter account, I only tweet twice in my life since its purpose was just to follow one of my college professors as her assignment.

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However, somehow, I chose Professor Benjamin’s class to study the necessary social media knowledge and skills this semester. During her first class, I learned that I had to tweet at least 200 times as one of the major assignments. This was a very harsh and challenging requirement, and after I talked with my friends in other classes, I almost wanted to drop the class. And the tweet was just a starter. Students are also required to create their own blog websites and constantly post the assignment in the format of blogs. In the first class, she said that “ think our class as a company. I’m the CEO, and you guys are all employees.” I did not take that line seriously. Day after day, class after class, She really taught “like a boss,” which means her expectation and requirement for each student was really high. But even though the class was torturing, the skills and knowledge I practiced were extremely beneficial. Thanks for her hard devotion!

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My first two blogs received awful grades, but later on, I learned to enrich my blog with pictures and links on the key terms to other web pages, and the results were great. In my second blog, I discussed the case of hygiene crisis in a couple of five-star hotels in Beijing. As the rise of social media, the hotel-rating agency directly published the rating results on the SNS and aroused the public attention. It was very efficient and economical for the agency to spread their news, but at the same time, frustrating and destructive for the corporations when they had a problem. Similarly, if a company launched a media campaign with a disvalued concept, like IKEA’s leftover ladies campaign in China, the public reactions would be unprecedentedly fierce and spread swiftly like a virus. As a result, in the new era of social media, corporates should be extremely careful about what they said and others’ statements about them. On the contrary, if a brand’s campaign was successful, like the Star Clash lipstick campaign by Saint Laurent to raise the attention of women and even men to buy it for their wives and girlfriends, the marketing effect would be largely augmented. Therefore, social media is a double-edged sword, which can make the good news better and the bad issues worse.

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Finally, another hot topic I research on is the authenticity of the news recourse. There is much fake news nowadays spreading across the SNS since everyone has become an individual news outlet and there is an immense freedom of speech in this country. Audiences have to keep sharp minds with critical thinking while perceiving the information. I also tried to write my own news, an apologetic statement for the lateness of the class. It made me realize how hard to compose the lines by using the facts when the corporate want to apologize to the public. After all, it is my pleasure to study at Professor Benjamin’s class, a wonderful journal, though very tough and harsh, I definitely learn a lot. I am ready to start my new life in the field of PR and social media.

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