Week 2- The Evolution of Social Media Within My Life

Social Media. An everchanging, ever evolving, much debated, topic that has been a mainstay in our lives for well over a decade. Personally, I’ve gone through a bit of an evolution when it comes to my own Social-Media use, and the more I think about it, the more I’m interested in how this came to be.

Let me start by saying I’m someone who loves technology. Growing up in an era of extremely rapid technological progress, I became enthralled in learning all about the “next big thing.” I’ve loved being able to watch VHS tapes evolve into streaming services, smartphones take over the roles of dozens of other devices, and the dimensions of a television undergo extreme change. I’ve been fascinated watching cell phones and headphones go from quite large in size, to quite small- only to start getting larger again. Technology trends and improvements spark my curiosity and have for as long as I can remember. This being said, my interest in social media has been more turbulent. During high school I purchased my first smartphone, a Blackberry Tour. My friends were quick to point out that I ‘had to’ download Facebook and Twitter immediately. Initially unsure of what I should post, I eventually got comfortable posting occasional status updates, various pictures, and the traditional writing of “Happy Birthday!” on my friends’ walls.

As I graduated, and moved on to university, my posting on Social-Media started to decline. I started to become hypervigilant of the content I was posting online.  My checklist of a quality post became longer and longer. As a result, fewer and fewer ideas became ‘good enough’ to post. Not only did I want to ensure I was receiving positive engagement numbers, I was also striving to ensure the content I posted online was a positive reflection of how I wanted to be viewed. I quickly realized it became easier and more comfortable, to simply not post at all, rather than be disappointed or regret a post later on. This furthered as I entered the College of Education. While I loved my time at the University of Saskatchewan, one of the reoccurring themes throughout my classes was to be careful of what you post, or have posted, online. Wanting to prepare myself for a future in the world of teaching, I realized not only was it easier not to post at all, but limiting my posts could also prevent potential harm to a future career.

As the university raised my personal bar for what was acceptable to post, the frequency of my posts decreased to nearly zero. I was still spending several hours a week on various social media platforms, but only participating with low level, inoffensive actions. I found this was a way to remain informed in the going-ons of my friends but was also something I wouldn’t regret later in life. As a result, my type of online presence is often described as a lurker. For those not familiar, a lurker is less ominous than it sounds, but is simply someone who observes or uses social media frequently but chooses not to participate/post.

This is the position I’ve been ‘stuck,’ in for the last few years. Taking this type approach towards social media has essentially allowed me to limit any possible effect social media could have on my life. The tough part to realize however is that in doing my best to prevent any negative effects, I truly believe that I have deprived myself of many of the positive affects. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly recognize the multitude of positive effects social media can have on a person. Never in the history of our planet has the information, teaching, opinions, and expertise of people across the world been available to us, nearly instantaneously. Additionally, the ability to maintain friendships over extremely long distances or breaks in face-to-face contact, is something I continuously take for granted. While taking this class, I seek to change some of my attitudes towards social media in an effort to seek out more of these positive effects.

  • I want to push my comfort zone.
  • I want to become more engaged online.
  • I want to grow a professional growth network and learn from the amazing individuals that are present online.
  • I want to build an online presence.
  • I want to improve my teaching, both in terms of methodology and knowledge.
  • I want to teach my students more about the positives of being online, while also teaching them aspects of Digital Citizenship.

 I believe this class can help me shift my thinking, and lead me to experience some of the positive effects that I’ve been forgoing for the better part of the last decade.

3 thoughts on “Week 2- The Evolution of Social Media Within My Life

  1. Colton, I really liked how you summarized some of your key points at the bottom of your post. I know that sometimes I can get distracted when reading, and a quick summary at the bottom is really great for me. Maybe I need to adopt something similar to my posts! Thanks for the help on that one. Your blog looks great and it sounds like you have a good understanding of where you are at. Looking forward to reading more!

    Like

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