703-581-8157 aswinjohn@vt.edu

On Wednesday October 7th, Dr. Amy Jordan came to Virginia Tech to speak about digital media and its influence and role in the lives of children today. 

Dr. Jordan first brought up how throughout time, new media and innovations have been seen as harmful or the thing that is “ruining the next generation” From the magazine, to the television, to today’s social media, parents have (often valid) concerns about safety and content that stays consistent across all these platforms.

However, children are essential in the progression of technology because they are the true early adopters. While adults have to adapt to the current changes of technology, children grow up with these platforms, making them a part of their day to day lives. They often become so proficient that they end up teaching the new technology to their parents.

“Children quickly become adept at using computers and other devices, often exceeding their parents’ abilities to the extent that many children educate their elders in technology matters.”

Social Media Theory Takeaways

My biggest takeaway from this talk was that you must stay up to date and learn how to speak natively on each platform. When I headr Dr. Jordan speaking about Snapchat, I thought about how she is truly always looking for the next platform that everyone is using. Unfortunately, as she mentioned, sometimes you can find yourself trying to learn a new platform just to see it was a fad (such as Yik-Yak). But this consistent pursuit to find the next up and coming platform is crucial because you have to speak to your customers where they are listening.

If a company wants to reach a demographic of 13-25, they must now find ways to reach the audience of Snapchat. The age of the audience is a crucial reason why Snapchat has their absurd $16 billion valuation. As we grow up and move along in our careers, the platforms and media channels that we have become accustomed to and grown up with will soon become outdated and we will become the “lame adults” that send text messages with ellipses. It is critical to stay in tune with the current trends in social media- or whatever new platform emerges!- and find where our customers are speaking!

In the end, as much as we all make fun of that parent who uses “lol” and emoticons in their texts, at least they are effectively (as Drake would put it) talking your language.