2013 was the year I got bored of blogs and spent more time on Twitter. As my time on Twitter increased, I read less, wrote less, and I’m pretty sure I reflected less. Having abandoned Facebook years ago, I channelled my energy into reading my Twitter timeline. When I got tired of ed tech conversations which often seemed circular, repetitive, and generalized, and at times self-serving, I tried to expand my network to include other educational conversations. As the number of people I followed increased, the number of links I clicked on decreased, and I resorted to following 140 character conversations on a superficial level, chirping in occasionally from my post in the peanut gallery.
I’m pretty sure I’d have a much harder time doing my job without the help of Twitter. There isn’t a lot of time to keep up with the ed tech world without participating in Twitter. In fact, I have to give people I follow in the BC post secondary Twittersphere a solid A+ for sharing, assisting with my queries (gold star to @clintlalonde for that btw), and helping me feel part of a BC community. I also get a lot out of following conferences that I can’t attend via Twitter streams. But in 2014 I am asking myself the question, Twitter at the expense of what? Can I balance my social media activity in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve eaten a big bag of chips–full but not really nourished? As an academic, do I have a responsibility balance the ease of Twitter, with the harder work of really reading, reflecting, and perhaps commenting on the work of some excellent bloggers and researchers? Why is it that the time I spend reading Tony Bates’ blog or the OLDaily (who interestingly almost never seem to tweet) or even following sites such as Thot seem to give me more satisfaction that staying on top of my Twitter stream? In 2014 I’m going try harder to blend old school with new school and see where that takes me.