Communication is an act of balance, fraught and uncertain.
We respond to that uncertainty tactically. We assess. We use metrics, analytics. We drive forward, whether we are communicating in a classroom or via social media.
But sometimes we don't know where we are driving. We aren't telling our story in the haze of all the busy, busy work we think we need to do to keep up.
We have sacrificed connections and engagement. We've lost the magic.
I speak about connections. Whether my topic is creativity, social media or higher education, it's all about how we connect better with each other.
You want me on stage with a slidedeck? Fine.
You want me roaming the seats with a mic and talking to people? Great.
You want the audience directing us to their live content for in-the-moment critique, development and workshopping? Awesome.
Dr. Steven Vrooman, PhD, is Professor at Texas Lutheran University, where he is Chair of the Department of English and Communication Studies and Director of General Education.
His well-received TED Talk, "Our Brains Are A'Twitter," explored what social media reveals about the ways we have always processed and failed to process information. This built on 20 years of research and teaching in the field, ever since the Internet emerged from the computer-lab basements of BITNET and IRC. He has researched and written on Internet social movements, online fandoms, flaming, trolling and invective, the maintenance of online communities, and numerous studies of how fans interact with the popular culture texts they love.
Recently published papers and book chapters include a quantitative-qualitative mixed-method analysis of how people use “geek” and “nerd” on Twitter, an exploration of the impacts of integrating social media platforms and techniques into elearning and an analysis of how colleges and universities should use social media around issues of campus violence.
He received his MA and PhD in Communication from Arizona State University, writing his thesis on a web-based social movement and his dissertation on emergent fan fiction communities. He did his undergraduate study at Loyola Marymount University, where his undergraduate senior thesis, on how community norms are enforced in an online horror fan community, was eventually published. He teaches public speaking, popular culture and film, research methods, communication technology, social media, rhetoric, persuasion, and data visualization.
He delivered keynotes and breakouts on social media strategy at INBOUND, TSAE's TechTalks, the IAEE Expo!Expo!, The National Association of College Auxiliary Services, and the Texas Self Storage Association. He has also spoken on internal and external communication at the Texas Library Association, the Library Learning Cooperative, Libraries Out Loud, and a variety of universities.
He also delivered a communication workshop to BCFS emergency management first response teams.
He has coached/consulted with individuals, ranging from motivational speakers to sports agents, nonprofit groups and businesses.
He has published in the journals New Media & Society and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, as well as in books. He has reviewed articles for a dozen different journals and conferences. He has served on the editorial board for the Western Journal of Communication and has presented scholarly work at the National Communication Association, The Western States Communication Association, The Southern States Communication Association, The Western Social Science Association, the Society for Cinema Studies, and the Southwest Popular Culture Association.
He delivered the keynote for the inaugural Engaging Pedagogy conference at TLU, "Teaching. Is. Persuasion." He has since has spoken on teaching and public speaking at various universities.
He has appeared in the documentary films The People Versus George Lucas and 3 Glimpses.
I know, right? Because today you said to yourself, "You know, I think I need MORE email."