Since social media has flourished tremendously in a short time period, it will be a critical skill and knowledge base to have as a professional, especially in the field of social work. A new generation of social workers is evolving through the emergence of social media tools that seem to be growing on a daily basis. There are several benefits social workers have with the use of social media tools and networks. One of the most advantageous feature of social media tools, is its a free and widely available platform and vessel to the world, providing the ability to reach any group of people. As a social worker, it is important to meet people where they are, which is online. ” Social media arguably constitute one of the most important cultural milestones in the last half-century” (Robb, 2011). I recently told someone that this course, social media tools should eventually be a mandatory course for MSW students at Georgia State University. I personally believe it would be a huge disservice to the near future MSW students if they do not take this course, regardless of how involved they are in social media in their personal life.
Robb, M. (2011, January/February). Pause Before Posting–Using Social Media Responsibly. Social Work Today. Retrieved January 27, 2013, from http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/020911p8.shtml.
The social media networks for personal use have grown in numbers quickly over the last few years. Since I have not kept up with the social media trends, I had to do research to learn about networks other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. This is the first time I’ve heard of BranchOut and BeKnown. According to a study conducted by TNS for LinkedIn, people utilize personal networks for entertainment, socializing, staying in touch with family and friends, share and kill time. Whereas, people who use professional networks, devote their time to network, seek career opportunities and improve or maintain their professional image (Garibian, 2012). I personally only have one personal network account, which is Facebook. I signed up for Facebook to replace Myspace and stay in touch and reunite with friends. I don’t keep up with Facebook regularly, therefore I don’t do much sharing or socializing. I’m somewhat of a private person, so I don’t feel the need or interest to do a whole lot sharing. Although I don’t like to tell everyone my business, I intend to improve my association with personal and professional networks. I have recently joined LinkedIn, and view that form of social media as a more valuable use of my time. Social networking is time consuming, and I don’t have time to kill on Facebook, Twitter or any other personal social media networks. Although I have not always been caught up with social media networks and the recent social networking trends, I would like to learn how to use them and begin to stay up to date with the networks I choose to join. I decided to take this course to learn more about social media tools and networks and how I can benefit from them in my personal life and professional endeavors.
Garibian, L. (2012, September 25). Social Media Mindset Divide. MarketingProfs. Retrieved January 27, 2013, from http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2012/8961/professional-vs-personal-the-social-media-mindset-divide