3 Social Media Assumptions Not to Make

3 Social Media Assumptions Not to Make

Reflecting on Rachel’s 25th birthday post last week, I’m going to feel old with this opening anecdote, but here goes…

A few years ago, when I was about 31, I was at a meeting with faculty for a graduate program.  I offered up examples of how we were reworking some of our existing course tools to give them elements of social media.  Before I got too far, I was stopped in my tracks: “Our students are not teenagers,” they chided me, “Our students are working professionals.”

So in honor of all of you “working professionals”, in honor of the rest of the misunderstood, I give you…

3 Social Media Assumptions Not to Make

(because we all know what happens when you assume)

  1. Twitter is dead. Maybe not.  People may just not understand how to use it right away.  I got my account in February 2007 and didn’t do much with it until March of 2008.  My use looked like this or sounded like this discussion on TWIT (~1:18:00-1:25:00).
  2. Social media is all about narcissistic people who want to talk about themselves. Not exactly.  It all depends on how people use the tools.  Most people will not reach a certain level of success without giving back to the community and having a dialog.
  3. Everyone is just like you. No, people use technology in different ways and for different reasons.  They may use different tools.  They may embrace change more or less readily than you.

Image adapted from Fail 7900 by timcaynes.

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facebook, Social Media, social media assumptions, social media for universities, twitter

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This post was written by:

Nikki Massaro Kauffman

Nikki Massaro Kauffman - who has written 42 posts on .eduGuru

Nikki is a multimedia specialist with Penn State's World Campus Learning Design unit, creating and editing multimedia for online courses.

Previously, she was technology training coordinator with the Penn State University Libraries, responsible for technology training offered in the Libraries' 20+ departments and 30+ library locations.  

Over the years, she's been she served as an interim associate director of instructional technology and multimedia, a programmer, a database specialist, a Microsoft Certified Master Instructor, a continuing education instructor for seniors and adults with disabilities, and a high school English and communications technology teacher.  

Her interests are in the areas where technology, training, and communication intersect.  She holds degrees in both computer science and in education.  She is also an insomniac and an extreme extrovert with an indiscriminate love of language (including expletives).

7 Responses to “3 Social Media Assumptions Not to Make”

  1. Avatar image
    Jess Says:

    Why is everyone so ‘Twitter is Dead’ this week? I dont get it. Great post to keep our heads together.

    I tell people its about the feed not the format. Do it well, and its great for many other purposes.

    Happy Friday! :)


  2. Avatar image
    Lis Says:

    Was told today that thinking Twitter is only for narcissistic posting is like thinking a pencil is only useful for writing love letter to yourself - it’s not about the tool but about how you use it! Viva la Twitter!


  3. Avatar image
    Mike McCready Says:

    I think you raised some very important assumptions people have. I think the talk about ‘Twitter is Dead’ stems from the recent Nielsen report saying that Twitter’s retention is not very good and that people leave shortly after joining. In one of my recent blog posts - https://is.gd/xQA3 I reference Gregg Stewart from Search Engine Watch and he points out that Facebook and MySpace also went though the experience during their start-up periods.

    I think its important that people be cautious about what assumptions they make (both bad and good) about social media. We all know what happens to us when we make assumptions…


  4. Avatar image
    TimN Says:

    I was in a meeting this week where someone said YouTube was dead. Said person also said no student would come to a college-sponsored event on Facebook, which is also separate from reality. Where do people get their (mis)information?

    With Twitter and why users’ mileage may vary, I’ve boiled it down to less than 140: If you follow boring people, you’ll find Twitter boring. If you follow interesting people, you’ll find Twitter interesting.


  5. Avatar image
    JustinSMV Says:

    I like these assumptions, I don’t really think people are thinking that Twitter is dead as much though especially with the hype of Oprah. I just had a conversation about the 2nd assumption in people thinking that all people who uses social media are narcissistic, lol the view is there but we all know thats not true :-)


  6. Avatar image
    wilhb81 Says:

    Seriously, even though I registered as the Twitter user years ago, but I rarely log into my account, especially in the past three months! Honestly, I was feeling absurd with some of the actions inside the Twitter’s chat! lol



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