The interaction through social media can help us with confidence building. In the sharing and exploring through blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter Google+ and the like, It is easier to see that others have the same kinds of concerns, successes and interests in growing professionally and this makes a difference.
I think with the near glut of types of social media available, it is very important to think carefully about which media you will maintain a presence on and why. It’s also important to think through privacy and ethics issues and make sure you not only understand, as best as you are able, the privacy policies and features of those media you choose to use, but also what your own personal level of “privacy comfort” is. Not thinking about these things is unwise.
Just participating in CPD23 has introduced me to librarians from all over and I will learn much, have learned much that will help me in the work I now do. It’s been an exciting adventure so far.
I’ve been quite leery of using social media although I do blog. I had not experimented with much social media until CPD23 though. The exposure via CPD23 had helped me change that. Just recently though, I’ve accepted an invitation to Google+ and think I may actually use it. It seems to be more manageable than Facebook. I think I am going enjoy trying it.
In particular I’ve been thinking about the question posed in Claire’s post — “in your opinion does social networking really help to foster a sense of community?”
I’m not sure if it does. Still, I suspect that the perception that the rapidity of technological change and the myriad of uses to which technology can be put is astonishing and mind-numbing is generational. For young people such as my two nieces, rapid change and lots of technological options are familiar for it has been like this all of their lives; for me has not.
The American Heritage Dictionary has the following definitions for “community:”
Definitions 2-4 fit the kind of community that can be formed via social media. I admit to wondering if one can truly form the kinds of intimate, deeply caring relationships that can be nurtured with F2F contacts. I also wonder if, because we are often alone at our computer when we are interacting with others, if in time our sense and definition of courtesy, good manners, and politeness won’t morph into something different from our current cultural norms. That said, I do see that all the elements that form a community, are possible via social media although the environment is different.
Only time will tell what the full impact on people and society will be.