Using Social Media to Connect Pre-Arrival

I have mixed feelings about what’s happening right now in my life.

For those of you just tuning in – I have just finished my Masters in Higher Ed at Indiana U.  I’ve been working at IUPUI in their Res Life program.  I have accepted a position at Southern Illinois Univ at Carbondale.  I move from Indy to Carbondale July 1.  This Friday, my partner (of many years) is moving ‘back’ in with me.

I just joined the Facebook group for SIUC class of 2015.  I mostly joined to watch the interactions.  I was very excited to see some posts from students who will be residents in the building I will be working in.

Similar to that Facebook group, I have been using Twitter, Facebook, and Skype to connect with my future co-workers at SIUC.  There are a bunch of us in the Hall Director position.  Some of my future co-workers are, like me, new to SIUC – while others have been there for a few years.  It is a great mix of folks.

While I think it’s really great that I’m able to connect with some of my future co-workers this way — I wonder about those that are not using social media in this pro-active way.  Or- what about the folks who are not comfortable putting things on social media about themselves?  My concern is a mix between access to social media, desire to connect electronically before in person, and then the bigger question — what am I putting out there? How will that impact my future employment?  — or the age old question “will these people like me?”

Professionally- I think it is fantastic that I had a great skype conversation with the person who I will run a building with.  It was a great conversation & I’m looking forward to many more of them.  Personally — it has been wonderful having one of my future co-workers ‘comfort’ me and ‘calm’ my anxieties about having my sweetie move ‘back’ in with me here in 48 hours.

However, the introvert in me just gets all anxious and nervous inside.  While this is very good and exciting…. it is also very new.

I wonder how first year students — or students starting at new institutions – are feeling.  I’m particularly interested in how the folks in the various Facebook groups are feeling as they post “Hey! I’m living on the 7th floor of x building!!! anyone else!?!?”  …. what if no one responds?

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One response to “Using Social Media to Connect Pre-Arrival

  1. Great questions! I really wonder about the students who can’t post to Facebook or have very limited access compared to their future classmates. What’s it like to get to campus and “everyone else” (not really, but that might be the perception) has friends, peer groups, and even plans to go out with them? Is it easy to integrate into such an environment? Is there a significant psychic or emotional cost to not being connected “like everyone else?” And how long does it take this effect to dissipate? Does it???

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