Well, based on my weekly usage report that is generated by my iPhone, I seem to use social media platforms quite a bit. I have moved away from using Snapchat, but still maintain active accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I would say that I post way less than I once did and spend more time reading on platforms like Twitter.
At one time, I was that person who probably posted way too much and then spent countless hours going back through my historical Facebook posts and deleted inappropriate posts or images that would be deemed as inappropriate. With age and maturity, my awareness of my digital footprint has definitely evolved, and I am more mindful of the things I post and how I use media platforms.
Back to Blogging
This will be my first blog in a very long time. I believe it was in my first or second year of teaching that I used a Wikispace or WordPress to blog about the characters in Hamlet… I am still trying to track down this blog but worry that it might have been deleted. I remember students being excited about updating our class blog and discussing the evolution of relationships between characters in the play.
I am excited to start blogging again and start reading blogs from my fellow EC&I 831 classmates. Blogs will be a great platform to document and celebrate our learning.
Heading down memory lane
Our collaborative document from the previous class had me thinking about when I started using social media programs and my relationship with using technology. I recall using MSN messenger on my parents’ old computer to connect and chat with a friend who had moved to Saudi Arabia. It was so amazing to be able to connect with this family and learn about what life was like while living in a compound or gated community. The technology in the early 2000s was more simplistic, and I vividly remember the constant fight with our dial-up internet.
Anyone else recall the sound of dial-up internet? I remember the excitement of being able to get online and then remember my sister or mom yelling to get off the internet so they could make a phone call. It was always exciting to do research online and get away from the old encyclopedias and the collection of Natural Geographic magazines. I recall the conversations from lunch break and after school road hockey matches were quickly spilling over to the MSN chats in the evening and caused for disagreements and disputes that often ended in the principal’s office.
In my personal life, Facebook has been a great way to stay connected with friends and family. While my account was activated in April of 2008, it looks like I became more active in 2010. I am sure my increase in usage was because more of my friends and family were posting and soon, I was posting everything that I was doing. Currently, I live almost 3000 km away from where I grew up and as a result, I have missed birthdays and different celebrations. Facebook and Instagram have allowed me to watch my nephews grow up and allowed me to feel connected from afar.
I have had positive experiences using social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram, but I have also experienced the issue of taking too much time on these platforms. I know that I need to be more mindful of being present when around others and I need to spend far less time engaged with social media accounts.
Professionally, I find myself being very cautious with social media platforms. While I love the ability to connect and interact with others, I am very mindful of how my digital footprint could be brought into my professional world. More than ever, I find myself debating whether to comment, share something, or like certain posts. Being more restricted with my interactions online has made it difficult to stay current with new groups or trends that are emerging. During COVID, I did take steps to improve my professional use of social media platforms and became more active on Twitter. One reward has been participating in things like #SaskEdChat on Thursday evenings. I would encourage others in this course to follow @saskedchat and join the conversation with other SK educators.