Social media has changed the way we communicate. One department at Western Illinois University is acknowledging this by implementing a new minor on the subject.
Dr. Peter Jorgensen, Chair of the Department of Communication, said the new minor is called Computer-Mediated Communication. It will focus on how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media have changed the way we interact.
“It will inform students on how those kinds of mediums change the messages, what kinds of messages those mediums send, in order to enhance our ability to communicate with one another,” Jorgensen said.
WIU is going through a period of cutbacks as the state plays a smaller role in funding higher education. But Jorgensen feels it's important to add this particular program.
“It’s a reflection of where our focus is in terms of the field. Social media is becoming such a prevalent part in our everyday lives. We have to understand the implications of its use,” he said.
Jorgensen added that several current faculty members are knowledgeable in the field of computer-mediated communication so no additional hires will be needed.
Jorgensen said a new major might also be in the works for the Department of Communications but he was not able to go into specifics.