It occurred to me awhile ago, but I was in denial. Today I really owned up to the fact that I am the equivalent of a social media spoiled brat.
I have contemplated giving up twitter for a few weeks. I didn’t find I was getting enough out of it to be really considered a PLN. I didn’t feel like I was getting noticed. I was trying to write meaningful, timely blogs and waiting anxiously for feedback. Hungrily might be a better word. Of course, I thought I was writing real earth shaking material, but as I look back, I realize my writing needs editing and I am not inventing the wheel with every topic I choose to write about.
I was disappointed and frankly annoyed I wasn’t getting immediate feedback. It’s funny really. Spoiled brat – wanting attention. I commented on education initiatives, posted pictures, created a blog, tweeted out technology links, joined twitter chats. I was doing all the right things to get me noticed, contribute intellectually, make a name for myself. Then, I was getting frustrated that many of my comments were not replied to, people I followed didn’t follow back, no one commented on my pictures, no magazine picked up my blogs posts, other people had the NERVE to tweet the exact same links as I did after me, and my chats didn’t garner any further respect as an educator on twitter.
Wow. Yep, I said it. I was expecting all of that just by joining one social media site for one month. BRAT! Seriously, one month. What I should be thinking about is the fact that I joined twitter in an effort to help me grow and learn. Not to get followers and have them laud me with thankful messages for joining. So, I considered leaving. I still may, but perhaps for more the correct reasons and not because I’m not getting noticed by hundreds of people.
The purpose of me commenting should be to create discussion and sharing opportunities, not just to get a reply. The point of me posting pictures should be to learn from my mistakes and seek ways to improve by viewing other pictures, not seek compliments. I should follow people because I feel they have something to offer and contribute, not because I want more followers than him/her. I should be writing this blog to help me reflect on my own journey of learning and improve my writing skills, not to have people read, comment, follow or engage in conversation because I seek “social” media. The reason to retweet articles is to share information with other educators, not be upset that I wasn’t “first”, I mean, I didn’t even WRITE the articles I was so upset about. I should enter into chats to learn from others, explore new ideas and possibly contribute my own ideas, not to get noticed and try to actively (or competitively) get more followers.
If I decided to scale back or leave twitter, it will be for better reasons than I’m not getting noticed. Real struggles I have encountered with twitter have included – following too many people and not having the time to really keep up to date with them, not spending the quality time reading articles that other’s have posted, feeling overwhelmed with literally hundreds of posts I miss when I haven’t been on in some time, missing really good sharing opportunities because I don’t have the time to scour each post.
The reality is, I have accomplished much more than is reasonable to expect for me in a just a few months.I have learned or even just “heard about” more things in the past two months than I ever would have had I not joined twitter. I need to be much more humble with my contributions and skills. It does not matter if no one ever reads this- it is a learning journey. I need to listen to the lesson I have countless times told my own students – if you are dependent upon others to make you happy, you’ll never achieve it. I cannot expect feedback from others to be the only reason why I create or comment. I need to focus on improving myself and continuing on my own online learning journey.