So you're passionate about social media. You've said it out loud. Your social media profile mentions said passion at least once. You use all of the "tools." Here's the thing, social media are communications platforms. When you say that you're passionate about them, it's similar to saying that you're passionate about cellphones and/or email. The tools facilitate several aspects of your interactions with peers, students, colleagues, friends, and family, but it's the interactions that matter.
Lately, I've talked with several new student affairs practitioners who like to insert their passion for social media into the conversation. I get it. Twitter is awesome. Instagram is fantastic. SnapChat is ephemeral. The tools are pretty sexy. However, it's what you do with them that matters. Producing great content, creating space for engagement, and making meaningful connections…that's why we love social media. I get that this might be a bit of a semanticly murky area. Your passion stems from your use. But, I'd rather talk about what you're doing with the tools. Tell me the how, what, where, why, and when. Your bio on a social media site may list your passion for social media and that's okay. I just want to hear more about the deeper level of connection and conversation that led you to this point.
Social media are still fairly new to the overall communications picture within student affairs. I know, some of you may be shocked to read that last sentence. But, I've been out and about at several campuses and talked with folks from all over the higher education sphere. Adoption takes time. As a field, we are collectively excited about social media. It's an area of interest. Let's pursue our passions and keep working on doing great things with the tools.
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