Thursday, July 20, 2023

That Digital Presence and Social Media Question

We have become enthralled by the ceaseless hum of our electronic companions, those pocket-sized devices that have ensnared our attention and stolen our souls. We wander through life like sleepwalkers, heads bowed in reverence to the glowing altar of our screens, checking our social media, oblivious to the richness of the world that unfurls before us. 

Our digital avatars proliferate, each one a carefully constructed facade, a desperate attempt to assert our relevance in an increasingly disconnected world, and/or how you manage your digital presence actually matters. 

So, should you use; Twitter, Threads, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat , TikTok or Tumblr, or just walk away, or be simply terrified by social media.

And what about good old-fashioned blogging?

I've been using social media since it arrived. In the last century incidentally - though none of the platforms that existed then were actually called social media and they don't exist anymore. (ICQ, MySpace, Vine and many more etc)

I once set out what I use and why and I think given the recent proliferation of platforms perhaps time to do that again. Amusement too by overhearing a teaching colleague on the importance of online networking for learners, but not them ;-) 

Some past observations 

You do need to manage your online presence; it is a good thing to do. You can see 30 years of avatars on some of these sites.
  1. I am old and uncool, I use facebook with friends and family and try to keep it that way. If I don't know you really well, we won't be friends on facebook, sorry and no link with this item.
  2. LinkedIn for professional stuff - no chit chat or jokes - some links that reflect interesting things I am doing professionally, and I link with like-minded professionals. Always useful, I have had some very genuine job opportunities come along through LinkedIn. Be over familiar and or unbusinesslike and you're off my contact list. I only accept contact requests from folks that look relevant. So sorry not looking for a new life partner. Strangely now 6500 followers and over taking ..
  3. Twitter - controversial perhaps - but with #hashtags for topic searching and an established network 4500 followers approx. I post things that matter to me and use it as source of information and for networking. If you want to get the news first twitter is still best. Still a really useful tool. Anyone can follow me on twitter, and I think with one exception, a supporter of Russia's war in Ukraine, I've never blocked anyone. You may have concerns about new platform owner, but system still works well.
  4. Mastodon - I like the idea but seems to be lots of islands and I've had very few meaningful exchanges - has potential but not enough yet to get me to switch off my Twitter account. Usual suspects educational technologists seem to be first of my extended community here. It's too early as some have publicly done to ditch twitter account in favour of Mastodon. Academic posturing? is that a positive or a derogatory term?
  5. Threads even more esoteric. As it brought across everyone that I am linked to on Instagram looks like it may useful and I'm very popular - but the jury's out. No tag searching etc - I am just not sure.
  6. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Tumblr - I'm there - dig around and you will find me, but they are just not my thing. They are on my phone as my children wanted a look at these at some point. I can see appeal, but I am not making short video clips etc.
  7. Blogger and Blogging - Yes, I have my own domain and I can run instances of WordPress, but I stick to Blogger, it's simple and I've been posting since almost last century.  If you want to develop an idea and share it publicly, get a blog, would be my advice. You can do things just like this.
If you are a student or a teacher you really should have an awareness of how useful social media is - but it can make you or break you.  

What is your social media strategy ? Only you can figure this out but if done correctly it will help you personally and professionally.

And same sentiments mixed by Chat GPT 

Oh, the tangled web of social media! We've become prisoners of these pocket-sized devices that demand our constant attention, stealing our souls as we bow before their glowing altars. Life's a stroll in Slumberland, with our heads buried in screens, checking social media like clockwork, all while the world around us goes unnoticed.

Our digital avatars are multiplying like rabbits, each one carefully constructed to show off how relevant we are in this disconnected universe. Do we stay in this wild virtual dance, juggling Twitter, Threads, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and Tumblr? Or do we pull the plug and walk away?

Good old blogging! I've been at it since before the dinosaurs roamed the web. Back in the day, we didn't call it social media, and now those platforms are as extinct as the dodo. Time to lay out my online empire.

First up, Facebook – that's where I hang with friends and family, no room for strangers on my digital porch. LinkedIn's my playground for the business world, strictly no chit chat or jokes here. It's all about connections with like-minded professionals, and maybe, just maybe, some job opportunities, if you're lucky. No unprofessional shenanigans allowed, folks!

Twitter, the land of hashtags and 4500 followers. Here, I post what matters to me, find all the juicy info, and hobnob with other birds of a feather. I'm not one to block, but if you're a fan of Russia's Ukrainian war, sorry, but we're not on tweeting terms.

Now, let's talk Mastodon – an intriguing concept, but feels like a bunch of little islands. I've had a few exchanges here, so it hasn't wooed me away from Twitter's snazzy nest just yet.

Threads? Oh, that's an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Since it imported all my Instagram friends, it appears I'm a superstar over there, but I'm not entirely sold on the whole shebang. Jury's still out on this one.

As for Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and Tumblr, they're just not my cup of tea. My kids dragged me into these realms, but I'm more of a bystander, not a performer in the short video circus.

Ah, Blogger, my trusty sidekick. It's simple, it's reliable, and I've been rambling on here since the digital dark ages. If you wanna share your thoughts with the world, get a blog – it's just like this ramble you're reading!

For students and teachers, social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so plan your strategy wisely. It can catapult you to greatness or crash your dreams like a runaway train. So, what's your social media game plan, folks? It's a wild digital ride out there!