If nothing else, the course’s recent focus on social capital has illuminated how little of it I have. I rarely use Facebook to do anything besides share funny links, post pictures, or comment on other people’s posts or pictures. Is that really an effective use of the medium? I don’t think so. Facebook is a great platform for sharing more than just Buzzfeed’s latest quiz or listicle. Yet I am hesitant to change my behavior. Why? Perhaps it’s because my network of friends uses it in the way that I do. In my newsfeed, I have a few connections who post political or timely articles. I enjoy reading them (sometimes), and they are a nice respite from posts about studying abroad or college parties.
But I am not sure I want to join their ranks. This could be because I have over a thousand friends–many of whom I no longer know. Perhaps if I cleaned out my connections, I would feel more comfortable sharing.
However, I do think that I can use Twitter to get more social capital. Right now, my profile is on private, but I have been toying with the idea of changing that. This class has shown me how much interesting information is out there and how to become a better curator of it. I think I can use Twitter to blur the lines of professional and social that I have created for myself on the web. I’ve slowly begun retweeting more than just funny or ironic quotes, and I think I can expand that into information I find useful about topics that are important to me.
I’ve also toyed with the idea about keeping up my blog after this course ends. While I don’t think I’ll continue to write about social media issues, I have been thinking about writing about entertainment news (movies and tv shows, mostly). I follow the industry a lot, and I love reading other writer’s recaps of my favorite shows. What’s stopping me from writing my own? Perhaps no one else will read them, but I know I would enjoy doing it, which should be reason enough.
Finally, I think I need to be more active on my LinkedIn profile. I know many people that have connected to new jobs through recruiters on LinkedIn, and I am currently in search of postgrad opportunities. Following more influencers, reading what they have to say, and endorsing the skills of my connections can only serve me for the better.
Reciprocity, as many of my co-learners have noted, is key. Using this rule on LinkedIn and Twitter will grow my network and hopefully raise my social capital. I am excited to slowly start becoming more active online and hope that this type of behavior becomes the new normal for me!