Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Skype: the list goes on. These multiple forms of communication – all summed as social media – are of more significance in the world in which we live than we tend to realize. People are influenced every day by some form of communication apart from person-to-person contact. From Facebook groups to Twitter pages to emails, there are multiple tools used to let people know about information and on-campus activities. Each person varies in which form they prefer, but these are the most frequently used on the WC campus.
According to an informal survey given to 45 students on campus, the overwhelming majority follows the on-campus activities via email. Comments made by students such as “it’s all right there,” and “I check my emails daily,” suggest that students find emails convenient and easily accessible. Multiple students also are included in Facebook groups, such as the “WC Honors Program” page and the “Wilmington College Chi Alpha” page, and many more available for different group and class activities. About 38% of those involved in the survey said that Facebook pages and events have been useful to them.
Another frequently used website, not only for Wilmington information but also for personal use in general, is Twitter. About 50% said to use twitter, which has quick and concise information for students to find. Twitter is used for athletic activities on campus, with a student sharing that “the twitter athletics tells you when there are games, scores, and [it] supports everyone.” Official WC twitter pages include the Wilmington Athletics page “@WCQuakers,” the official Wilmington College twitter account “@WilmingtonColl,” and our very own Witness Newspaper page “@wcwitness.”
A question included on the survey asked the students, “Do you feel sufficiently aware of what happens or is offered on campus?” A trend became apparent between commuters and a lack of connection to what is happening on campus, whether it be via social media or word-of-mouth. The question left unanswered is this: How can we attempt to reach commuters with more consistent updates on campus life and in what they can be involved? Social media can increasingly play a part in that issue by bringing awareness to the forms of communication that are available.
With so much more focus on social media, not only at WC but in the world, it is easily forgotten that communication begins with talking to people. By letting people know what is available face-to-face, it is more personal and gives students more incentive to be involved. Social media can certainly be a convenience at times. About 25% of the students answered NO to the survey question asking “Do you feel as if social media benefits you in your knowledge of what is happening on campus?” If this is even slightly accurate, then it is important to reach these students differently. Those students who do not keep up with social media must also learn what is offered on campus in order to have a fun and informative extracurricular experience in college. They should not miss out on the activities that will make their experience at Wilmington College worth their while.