I Don’t Use Facebook Much, I Don’t See How Students Do Also

How would you respond to someone, especially to one in a position of authority, says those words to you?

This is a paraphrase of a response  I received when I was talking to a campus colleague about potentially using facebook for communication with students.  I can respect the idea that maybe, just maybe, facebook is not the right medium to communicate “official campus messages” like prompting them to log in to the campus student information system website to check a very important message. What I have a hard time accepting is the thinking that just because one does not see the value of a tool or that they do not use it means everyone else share the same point of view. Of course itt works the other way as well that just because I use social media heavily that I expect every student to be using it as much as I do. But rather than imposing our own biases, how about rather from looking at social media from our customers’ perspectives. There are studies like Pew Internet Research that shows young adults (18-29), the majority of our students, are indeed using social media.

I only wonder how much of this thinking prevents organizations, specifically higher ed,  from keeping up with the wants and needs of those we serve. I get the argument that we don’t have the necessary resource to meet the demands, that we have policies that we must adhere to and prevents us from using certain technologies, but I think it’s this mentality of elitism, the desire to keep the status quo that is a bigger problem.

Change can be scary and I wish I know what the future holds in term of how social media fits into what we do. What I do know is social media is here to stay and for those who disagree with this notion, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


image credit – http://www.autonettv.com.




2 thoughts on “I Don’t Use Facebook Much, I Don’t See How Students Do Also

  1. Andy Campbell

    Its tough to break old models and old mindsets Joe. This is a great point of discussion. Perhaps getting other people of authority and at similar levels to the person you spoke with to buy-in and become advocates for your social media argument. Just a thought. I’ll pose something for you to think about (upcoming blog maybe) from the opposing point of view – I agree students are “on” Facebook but how effective is it right now? I’m seeing a drop-off for effectiveness of communications using Facebook. I’m not talking about all SM, just FB right now.

    1. Joe Sabado

      Hi Andy,

      I’m fortunate my division has a leader (VC Dr. Young) who’s willing to embrace change. I think the question you pose about fb is a good point of discussion and you bring up a point about the networks themselves. The social media landscape is dynamic and requires agility in response and this requires recognition of how things exist now and planning for the future. I remember having a discussion with another colleague a couple of years ago who told me students don’t use mobile devices. Two years later and we’re finding ourselves having to catch up.

      The questions I’ve come across revolves around should we/should we not use social media for student communication. What I’m trying to promote is that the question should be “In what ways can we use social media or new technologies that is appropriate and within our resources?” The approach I take is trying to get people to look at it from the business needs and how these new technologies can enhance their processes.



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