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.