I joined Facebook in 2006 following the birth of my first baby. The timing was perfect, Facebook would serve as my connection to the outside world when physically being outside just wasn’t in the cards that day. A welcome addition to fill those tiny little windows between diaper changes, feedings, and countless walks around the inside of the house to soothe a fussy baby to sleep.
Nine years after joining, I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. I won’t speak about my knee twitch as a result, or the audits by my husband and kids to check on my commitment as they walked passed me sitting at the computer.
I will share what I first thought was a negative, which actually turned into an unexpected positive. It was on day five of no Facebook I realized I simply shifted the time I would have been on Facebook to other social media sites and this absolutely troubled me. I was questioning whether I should have just given up social media all together for Lent. That was until I started learning something completely new that interested me every day. I had know idea the ride I was in for and the learning experience it turned into. Please allow me to take you on my 40 day social media adventure.
I’m putting myself out there letting you know I had a rather eclectic list of people I followed since ’09 on Twitter *cough…maybe a Kardashian sister, maybe Ashton Kutcher.* I decided to embrace Twitter differently after learning how it could be used for personal learning and did a little Spring cleaning. Within Twitter I’d only ever been an observer, never an active participant. After watching YouTube Twitter tutorials to get tips on Twitter mechanics I was on my way. Since my clean up I’ve spent time on the pages of and been inspired by people I admire professionally, started and continue to increase own PLN, created lists within Twitter to enhance my experience, participated in my first #bcedchat, and signed up for Hootsuite and TweetDeck to visually help me navigate.
Re-activated. Noticed my first post was about 154 weeks ago and last post was 123 weeks ago. If I can remember that far back I stopped posting because I didn’t see the benefit of posting the same thing to two social networks with the exact same audience. Becoming active again has given me the unexpected pleasure of connecting with my family’s younger generation who embrace Instagram over Facebook. Being the ripe old age of 39 I’m careful not to like or comment too much on their pics, not looking to cramp their steez. Yup, I just said steez. I do very much enjoy the simplistic no frills format of Instagram, telling a story primarily through photo.
I have mixed emotions regarding Pinterest. Similar to the ocean tide coming and going, this would be me on Pinterest. I’ll visit and start pinning. Shortly after that I’ll become completely overwhelmed with ideas and leave as a result. I spent these last 40 days on and off Pinterest creating new boards, cleaning up current boards, and following new boards. I love that it’s just one more source to access for information or inspiration as needed. Pinterest is like that lifelong friend that you don’t talk to often, but pick-up where you left off whenever you connect.
I’ve discovered some of the people I follow on Twitter also write a blog. If I visit a blog and enjoy reading it at first glance I’ll bookmark it and subscribe to be notified via email when a new entry is posted. It’s a pleasure to read other people’s thoughts within my PLN and beyond in an extended format. For me it’s great evening wind down reading. Not sure that I’ll ever dive into the world of regular blogging myself, but appreciate the opportunity to get my feet wet through Mike’s invitation to be a guest blogger on his. Thank you Mike!
Exactly where have I been? Obviously under a rock since 2006 while the world of YouTube, YouTube channels and subscribing to channels has happened. Wow! Obviously I’ve visited YouTube before, but during Lent (ok, need to back this one up…since October ’14) I’ve discovered how I can make it work for me, both on a professional level and personally. I’ve found channels to subscribe to that I can weave into my workday and channels I’ve encouraged my kids to subscribe to as a safe online place to visit. I have a feeling I’ve only scraped the YouTube surface, the more I use it the more I’ll learn and I’m sure as my elementary kids grow they will teach me a thing or two, or three.
Resources in my own backyard
I don’t need Wi-Fi to connect with my #1 resource. I’ve known from the start that the people I’m blessed to work with and see every day are extremely talented and have the type of wisdom that only comes with years of experience behind them. As Mike mentioned in his March 12th blog entry, everyone brings “unique gifts and talents” and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not inspired or learn by something or someone that surrounds me.
Since I’m on a social media roll, lets throw LinkedIn into the mix. Apparently the third most popular social network, LinkedIn is primarily centered around careers. I really haven’t found any other use for it other then getting to peek into my friends corporate lives and keeping a connection with people I’ve worked with in the past. Perhaps I’m missing something, if this is the case would love to hear your thoughts.
In the last 40 days one thing that shocked and terrified me was personally coming across many underage kids online that I knew and the amount that hadn’t activated any privacy settings. I pretty much spent my next full free day off setting up family sharing on all our family devices and adjusting accordingly all the child protection on any device my kids have access to. I understand activating child privacy settings doesn’t take the place of my own supervision of my children, but why not learn about and activate the tools that are provided that assist with cyber safety? It was a long morning of searching online to get myself up to speed on what I needed to do, even still I’m sure I missed things. Maybe even more importantly then the privacy settings is the continued dialogue that happens between my kids and I regarding online safety. Thanks to my at times overwhelming friend Pinterest, I have a coffee table charging station in the living room where all electronics are placed and plugged in nightly before bed. I’m thinking as my kids become teens the coffee table charging station will move beside my own bedroom nightstand for the eye at the back of my head.
Will I go back to Facebook? Absolutely. There are very important people in my life who live too far away to be able to see regularly. Our activity through Facebook makes it easy to connect. I will be adjusting my feed settings though, with a higher priority placed on the people who are my family and friends who I consider my family.
Thanks for taking the time to read about my recent journey. Wishing you a blessed and Happy Easter.