Don’t get too comfortable

I’m a pretty organized person. I like to plan ahead and may be slightly obsessed with to-do lists (otherwise, I would forget everything). But this course taught me more than the basics of mass communication and how to blog.  It taught me to accept change and live in the present.

You might say what a cliché statement often dramatically used when reflecting back on one’s life. But I mean it literally – in the journalism field you cant get too comfortable.

Generally, I look forward to the routine handing out of a syllabus on the first day of class. While in Professor Robinson’s class we were handed a syllabus, it had no specific schedule of when we would discuss what topic. It simply outlined the basics of mass communication and gave a broad list of topics that we would tackle along the way. At the time, I was a bit concerned but looking back it made sense.

Why attempt to follow an outline of mass communication topics when they can simply present themselves along the way? The majority of our discussions were relevant news that tied into the objectives of the course and in no way could have been printed in a syllabus back in January.  Looking back, I can relate the unstructured syllabus metaphorically to the disruption of mass communication. This industry is constantly changing and we have to take it as it comes.

How many times did we relate back to Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter in class discussions.  While we were excited about updates presenting new features, we focused on more than just the technological aspect of these social media platforms – we focused on the communication aspect.

Twitter, for example, was the communication handle of a nationwide news story that just so happened to hit close to home.  The tragic shooting of three students near UNC’s campus opened the doors for so many discussions, most commonly seen trending on Twitter.

Snapchat disappointed us all when it removed the best friends feature but opened our eyes to the fads of social media. Ten years down the road, will Snapchat still exist? Will we continue communicating with our friends with the brief flash of a photo?

Facebook shocked us with its presentation of the Matrix.  Augmented reality headsets may not be in our homes tomorrow, but was Google Glass the start of something big?

All of these topics resonated with me enough for me to blog about them along the way, but the most important thing I learned from this class is what brings them all together. Morgan outlined it perfectly in a list of takeaway points – most important being that mass media is forever changing. So, before you get too comfortable with the newest technological updates, remember that something better is already in the works.

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