I’ve probably erased more tweets than I’ve sent. And I’ve posted over 22,000 tweets.
You’ve all been there, right? You see a tweet that you just have to respond to, you type it out, all proud of yourself for the witty response, and then something says…Nah, better not. And you erase it.
But sometimes you don’t.
But sometimes you hit publish anyway.
I’ve gone back and forth about the value of social media for me personally, mostly focusing on Twitter and my blog presence. There have been times I have stopped tweeting, or just posted links to resources I have found valuable. Sometimes I write posts, sometimes I don’t. But I can tell you almost certainly, when I do write, I write mostly for myself to help clarify and define ideas I have.
What is interesting about all of this is the perception of value that a social media presence has.
What is interesting about all of this is how that presence creates a “connected” educator and why that is important.
Here is my most recent “Type, Think and Erase”
“So, you get up early on a Sunday for
#sunchat and you talk about substitute teachers? Really? That’s bold.”
I didn’t tweet it. Why? Because its simply not worth it, even though I truly believe that there are more important things to discuss that substitute teachers. Is that really that important of a topic, given all the really important topics that could be discussed?
Is that what being connected means?
And yes, I get that it is more than the topic. And that there are connections forged, and that there is some remediation of teacher isolation. But…in the end, you used those connections to talk about substitute teachers!
As an educator, how bold are you in creating or replying to tweets? Because with the explosion of people using Twitter, and its global reach, it is much more likely that whatever you say will offend someone. And that can get ugly fast. How do you balance representing your convictions with the realization that a simple retweet, or a tweet out of context, is something that can go south in a hurry. Do you stay bold, or has it been your tendency to temper what you place online? There’s an interesting tension there, and everyone has to decide.
How committed are you to voicing your fundamental beliefs through social media?
Of course, you have to balance a free voice against all of these risks, and there is certainly a continuum of risk associated with everything a person says, regardless of whether its in a social media venue or simply spoken. Is that tweet worth it? Is that blog post worth it? Is your social media presence worth it? When will people that have used social media for a long time simply opt out because the risk is simply just too high? Perhaps it gets to the point where its just not worth it – when the cost of communicating your beliefs outweighs the benefits of being “connected.”
image credit: Alejandro Mallea, Some Rights Reserved