How would I describe my relationship with social media? I have mixed feelings about social media. I maintain my distance but appreciate social media’s usefulness. I appreciate the infinite connections to people and ideas but am concerned about social media as a tool for consumerism and commodification. Most certainly my attitude about social media does affect my personal and professional life. Here are my reflections on my current practices in social media and my desire to use social media to enhance my personal and professional life.
I like to read, watch and learn but am not so keen on reciprocal communication and avoid sharing, writing, posting, commenting, creating or blogging. I have disabled most notifications because I do not want to be at the beck and call of social media on my phone.
I follow politics and critical perspectives on Twitter because I care about, and am curious about progressive policy and science-based discussions that are not always available through mainstream media. Like many digitally connected people, I waste considerable time reading and watching videos on social media. Since Covid-19, the climate crisis, and 1000’s of graves found at Indian Residential School sites, I find myself mostly doom -scrolling on Twitter. I realize that this can harm my mental health.
How has social media affected my personal life roles as a mom, grandmother, co-worker, friend, cousin, sister and daughter? Facebook and Instagram have helped me to connect with far flung friends and relatives and remain up to date on their comings and goings, their weddings, funerals, births retirements. Photos and posts of children, pets and nature entertain and elicit positive emotions.
Personally and professionally, I am concerned about shameless marketing through social media. The internet is like a giant shopping mall. We are enticed to buy, buy and buy. Yes the apps may be free but consumerism will cost society dearly when our earth becomes a garbage dump of carbon and plastic.
On the other hand…The internet is like a FANTASTIC shopping mall. I appreciate the convenience of online shopping.
I am also aware that our dependence on digital communication and social media to deliver education has the potential to dehumanize and commodify education. This is a concern.
Social media is a great tool for teachers and students to expand knowledge, skill and communication. When schools shut down face to face instruction in March 2020, networks of social media facilitated continuity of education. Although it has been a challenge for me to shift to teaching (and learning) on line, I am hopeful that #eci831 will strengthen my craft and comfort in appropriately using social media to facilitate stronger connections with students, enhancing my personal and professional life.