Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When the "Media" takes a Back Seat to the "Social"

Regular readers of this blog will know that I decided to "all in" with social media about six years ago. I joined Twitter, started a blog and a variety of other social media platforms.

To this day, I tell everyone whose interested, that the decision to "connect" through social media has been the one of the best decisions of my professional career. My connections have put me in touch with some of the smartest, kindest and interesting people on the planet. 

Recently, however, my use of social media has dropped off significantly. While I'm not necessarily proud of this, I think it has become a necessary reality.

When I joined social media nearly six years ago, I was firmly embedded in relationships within my school community. This year, as I transplant myself into a new school community,  the "media" has taken a back seat to the "social".

My new beginning has come with an important opportunity to establish community, trust and leadership through relationships. 
But here's the thing about establishing new relationships - in the process one can easily take for granted the relationships that are already established. In this regard I am guilty as charged. 

There is no question that in my zeal to establish new relationships in community, I have let my established relationships (with those nearest and dearest and those on social media) take a back seat. 

I realize that some would argue that I am perpetuating the Digital Dualism argument (or even fallacy)  

The fact remains, I have been less connected in social media spaces because I have been more connected in "non-media" social spaces. 

In a sense, I think this a necessary reality when joining a new school community.

Truth be told, like anything in life, I probably need to strike a better balance.  

Nonetheless, I am still figuring out...


  1. Hey buddy. It has been so interesting talking to people like Cale Birk, Darcy Mullin, Tom Schimmer, Gino Bondi, Brian Kuhn, you (to name a few) and reflect on how our use of social media has changed. I find myself connecting less through Twitter and more through phone calls, emails, Voxer messages and face to face meetings. The cool part of this whole thing is that the people I mentioned are all people whom I met through Twitter and (all but one at BC's first Edcamp). I am starting to see that how I use social media has changed as my needs have changed. I crave time for deeper dialogue (as opposed with the fast-paced Twitter chats) with people whom I have a relationship with. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Twitter and I still enjoy checking things out once in a while but my use of social media has evolved. I. too, found I was connecting online more than I was in my own home and school and that needed to change. I also can bounce ideas off specific teachers and principals for advice on deeper issues in education (offline without it turning into a chat with many people that often can overwhelm me).
    Balance is always key - and I also think that the best part of social media is that we can make it work for us. We evolve and our use of it grows with us. The important piece is to always be reflective on our use to ensure that it is purposeful and beneficial.

  2. Hi Johnny, I'm Fr Ken Thorson, the OMI priest in Ottawa with whom you spoke a little while back. I'm writing here to see if I can connect with you during the Easter break, and continue our conversation. Thanks... my email is kenthorson9@gmail.com.