2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: You Never Graduated - Social Media as High School

Written by Megan Simpson | January 17, 2014

At SXSW 2014, Andrew Cunningham talks about "You Never Graduated: Social Media as High School"

Don’t miss this year’s 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, where more than 800 sessions will be presented in five days. This installment of the Session Spotlight explores Andrew Cunningham’s Core Conversation, “You Never Graduated: Social Media as High School,”. Based in New York, Cunningham currently serves as a Community Manager at Huge.

SXSW: Tell us about the idea behind this panel.
Cunningham: We’re going to discuss finding common ground between current user behaviors in social media, as well as the broad trends seen across social channels, and connecting them to themes in real-world ecosystems - specifically high school.

SXSW: What makes you and the other speakers qualified to speak on this topic?
Cunningham: My fellow presenter, Mea Cole Tefka, and I have had a unique experience with social: while our careers in digital grew out of social media’s explosion, we were early network adopters in our personal lives too. Our jobs forced us to look at social channels strategically and with purpose. Additionally, with our respective social circles also a part of the social media generation, we are able to experiment and learn from both a personal and professional perspective. We may not have all the answers from this type of experience, but we believe our insights will lead session attendees to previously overlooked perspectives.

SXSW: Tell us a little bit about how you use social media. What’s your Twitter handle and what do you usually tweet about?
Cunningham: My Twitter handle is @cunninghamarc, and my tweets usually focus around 3 things: sports, internet humor, and letting out my frustration regarding the tendencies of the general public through mini-rants. If you enjoy any of these three topics, feel free to follow.

SXSW: So, who do you follow on Twitter?
Cunningham: I follow lots of comedians, sports writers and news outlets. I am very liberal with hitting the “follow” button. I follow anything that could potentially be of interest down the line.

SXSW: Have you reduced any of your social media habits out of a desire to have more privacy?
Cunningham: I do bear privacy concerns in mind when I post, but my social media habits have been curbed more out of the desire to not over-share or overextend myself. My goals are to always leave my friends and followers wanting more. Privacy is a hot topic in social media, but I am of the mindset that sharing anything meant to be private (or content that certain eyes shouldn’t see) is a mistake unto itself.

SXSW: Not necessarily related to your Core Conversation at SXSW, what is your favorite website?
Cunningham: I frequent ESPN.com the most, but it’s not my favorite. I am an avid Redditor and Soundcloud user, and bookmark my favorite Twitter feeds to read in bulk. My favorite entertainment blog is Barstool Sports (viva!). I read it mostly as a supplement to satisfy my insatiable love of sports and nonsense.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. Register now to attend “You Never Graduated: Social Media as High School” and other programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.