In the last year, mobile applications have made a run for it. Facebook is beta testing Facebook home, Vine is the latest video sensation and Instagram video is giving it some stiff competition. What happens when you can’t be part of these latest trends? As a new media student or a communication major this may mean problems. Many students I know, do not own the latest smartphone or have the money to even fathom the idea of one, I mean, the Samsung Galaxy 4 alone is priced at $552.00 at T-Mobile. Yet, what was a luxury before has become a necessity. Thing is, Social Media positions are forever changing and evolving, and in the process leaving some future graduates behind.

A week ago, I was able to join the Facebook Beta testing program, and guess what? my phone wasn’t compatible. I jumped at the sight of the Mashable article that declared that Android had finally acquired the ability to take videos, but I couldn’t take them. My iPhone obsessed friends raved about Vine, and when the Google Play store announced its arrival , there I went. Do I have to tell you what happened?

I know I am not the only one in this situation, and it worries me. I spotted a job posting that stated that, for one to qualify for a social media position at their company, one had to be proficient in the use of Instagram and Vine as a social media engagement tool. What happens to those of us who just can’t? It doesn’t mean we aren’t good at social engagement, it just means that for the moment our skills are stronger in other platforms. Will it be held against us, that we haven’t yet mastered the skills to make a viral Vine video? I sure hope not.

Everyone, including prospective graduate schools, future jobs , and friends are demanding that we have the latest technologies, and that we remain engaged on the latest platforms. When did the tools we use start defining how good we are at what we do? Sure, newer tools allow us to do our jobs more seamlessly ,but you could have all the tools in the world and still do a horrible job. Knowledge, Passion and Drive are still key.


What do you think, how are you keeping up with new technology as a college student?


Comment below!!


3 thoughts on “#NewMediaStudentProblems

  1. This is a really tough situation – and one that I’m experiencing first hand right now. Most of my friends never really used Twitter, so I never had a reason to learn. Now, at 25, I’m figuring out the mechanics of building a Twitter following (and being concise!) to promote my new business, World By Storm Consulting. I think the important thing, though, is that, even if the trendiest tech isn’t immediately accessible to new grads and twentysomethings, that we all keep reading, keep learning, keep trying to understand how each innovation fits into new marketing/advertising standards. That way, we can speak with confidence and authority in interviews and with industry leaders — and only have to learn how to hit the “on” switch once you get the proper tech in front of you 🙂

  2. Thank you for writing this article! I’m going back to school for a year specifically to develop my Social Marketing and Relationship Marketing skills, and still I feel like I can’t stay “in the loop”. I do think we have an advantage though. The time it takes us to become proficient at any of these new technologies is significantly reduced with our highly technological upbringing. For instance, I’ve never used Vine, but I think becoming proficient might be easier for me than either of my parents (both of whom use social media regularly for work). Plus, most of us do participate in at least one form of social media and many of the principles are the same. A combination a naturally reduced learning curve and many hours of semi-relevant experience mean that even with a complete lack of knowledge of these systems, we are still “primed for proficiency”.

    Also, there is a difference between proficiency and mastery, and to call yourself a “master of social media”, a system that changes every day, seems overly-confident. When I see those prerequisites in a job posting, I get a bit frustrated. Instead of playing into the trap, I like to say I have experience using technology “x”, but am also comfortable with adapting my strategies to fit new best practices as understood by the industry. Nobody can be an expert yet because the technologies haven’t been used for long enough, but becoming proficient is just a matter of time and experience and here, I think, Millennials have a huge advantage.

    (To be fair, you mentioned that actually having the hardware is a necessary part of getting the experience or practice, but I think the theory part is harder to learn than using the technology, and for that we have a definite advantage. I feel strongly that our socially- and technologically-enhanced upbringing have prepared us to either solve these problems or creatively avoid them)

  3. I do worry about consumption being driven by the need to feel marketable. Goods should be purchased when a person has the means and WANTS to do so. Feeling pressured into having the latest and greatest gizmo just to keep up seems problematic to me.

    That said, I suppose it could be argued that we “consume” higher education in order to be marketable and relevant and that there is a have/have-not situation underfoot there, too…Hmm, maybe technological devices are in some ways replacing classrooms as the forum for “learning” and putting money into them is becoming the requisite expenditure to stay up to date. If so, tech companies are super-smart to have engineered things in this direction!

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