Okay, I’ll admit it: I have an addiction to Social Media! My girlfriend makes fun of me for it regularly, in fact. But to a Social geek like myself, the 2nd annual Social Media and Communication Symposium, hosted last Thursday by the Rochester Institute of Technology and @MikeFixs, was an absolute dream come true.
What I loved most about my time spent at SMACS this year can be illustrated really well by a tweet that came across my timeline during the morning Keynote address:
Only at a Social Media conference is it acceptable for everyone to be staring at their phones tweeting #SMACSRIT – @RIT_Emily
Reading that tweet led to me looking around the crowded auditorium and realizing just how true it was (and eventually to my most enthusiastic RT of the day!). It would have been difficult for me to find more than a handful of people that weren’t on their smartphones! Despite being taught throughout my entire life that it isn’t acceptable to use cell phones in certain situations, like in class or at the dinner table, this was one event at which it was not only accepted, but encouraged!
Not only did I learn a lot about Social Media practices at SMACS this year, I also got to connect with hundreds of other people interested in the same thing that I am. Before, during and after each program that I attended, I was searching #SMACSRIT (the official hashtag of the event) on Twitter. Despite not personally knowing more than five people at the conference, I was connecting and communicating with each of these people and bonding with them over a shared experience.
The relationships formed and the conversations that I was able to have at the event with people that I never would have had without Twitter had me shaking in excitement by the time I left the beautiful RIT campus.
My parents will never understand the desire to connect with so many people. My dad has frequently said, “what do I need that many friends for?” while arguing that Facebook is unnecessary. But to the Millenial Generation, one that has grown up using Social Media, connecting to others with similar interests is something that we will always enjoy.
It was during the full-bodied euphoric sensation that #SMACSRIT gave me that I knew for sure… Social Media is a field that I will one day have a career in. Afterall, everyone is always telling me to get a job doing something that you love.