Danielle Gassmann '15Social media’s greatest value is that it allows individuals, who might otherwise be unheard, to freely express themselves. Whether it’s a small business wanting to hear directly from its customers, a non-profit wanting to raise awareness without spending limited resources on advertising costs, or an average user looking to others for inspiration and guidance, social media can provide a unique line of communication for every user. When used intentionally, social media empowers people to share their story and assures users that they are not alone. A perfect example of this is Humans of New York. Thanks to social media, thousands of individuals have been able to share their struggles, heartbreaks, passions, dreams, triumphs and advice. Social media grants its users a valuable opportunity to learn from these unique voices and witness a different way of life than their own.
Marketing Assistant, Yelp
Chelsea BaltimoreSocial media adds a tremendous value to our marketing efforts in reaching prospective students. Instead of being a one-way street, students and parents can directly message us or even check out what campus life is like through our photo galleries and videos. Recently we’ve been using Facebook Live to connect our prospective students and alumni to campus and watch exciting events like move-in day and Architecture Day. In a society where Generation Z has grown up with instant gratification through technology, social media gives us the immediacy of communication that they desire while allowing us to establish a personal connection from the start. However, with a generation that is said to have an eight second attention span, it’s hard to stay relevant and stand out from the competition. As they say “it takes a village…” so we rely on our faculty, staff and vast alumni network to share the Drury difference far beyond campus.
Associate Director of Digital Communications
Megan Goosey '15When I consider the value produced from social media in my life, I am constantly hovering over zero; a positive in one area, a negative in the next. We all adore curating individual pieces and captivating our peer audience with a positive perception. Everyone loves sharing their best life. Likes and comments flirt with our emotions and create confidence. This is a step to the right of zero. Yet, we invite unneeded anxiety into our lives in an honest competition that tends to breed jealousy. Our likes are never the right number and our comments never from the right person. This is a step to the left of zero. Personally, I believe we are held to a standard, but asked to be unique. As a negative, the pressure and upkeep of social media is exhausting. However, as a positive, the visual content of social media has provided me with inspiration and given me guidance on design and creativity. I will continue to connect through social media as long as it is relevant, but my goal in 2018 is to be less reliant on it.
Current Drury MNCL Graduate Student
Charles TaylorSocial media creates the potential for building connections that transcend mundane barriers of time, space and national origin, while too frequently alienating us from meaningful reflection and authentic human engagement. To be sure, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms enable us to (re)discover and nurture at least surface-level relationships with ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ without regard to geographic proximity. The ostensibly (if imperfectly) egalitarian access to the virtual ‘marketplace of ideas’ opens up the virtual marketplace of ideas to previously marginalized voices. Too frequently, however, that mediated marketplace is, at best, inauthentic and, at worst, anti-democratic. Being fully ‘present’ in the virtual moment too easily entails being utterly absent in the lived moment, leaving us isolated in the crowd. Equally concerning is the paradoxical muting of meaningful political dialogue. From the manipulation of ‘bots’ to our self-absorbed ALL CAPS political manifestos vibrating in virtual echo chambers (140/280 characters at a time), we too often find ourselves (with a nod to Robert Putnam), trolling alone.
Professor of Communication