Friday, March 20, 2009

A thought to ponder about social networks

Social networking for both personal and professional reasons has taken off in an incredible escalation in recent months. People are hearing daily about Twitter, Facebook and other not as popular networking sites. They are popping up all over. There are many reasons why and the most important is so that we can connect with others. We are social beings. We can be anonymous or important just with a few clicks of the mouse. Personally I feel like the amount of time that I could spend on these sites is huge. I am a very chatty gal who likes networking with others.

I am concerned though that the amount of time that I spend in networking has changed me in a way that is not necessarily positive. I can easily get lost in networking sites for two or three hours. I don't think that I am alone in this. How does this happen one wonders? It is easy. I write something on a networking site, read what others are saying, visit links that others suggest, find something interesting and before I know it, 2 hours have passed. Is this wasted time? In some ways "yes" and in other ways "no". I am going to get better at watching the time, walking away after a set amount of time and being more judicious about the purpose of my time on the computer.

I think I will always enjoy social networks. It is about balancing time and that is not always easy for me.


  1. Thank you for this thought. I am sure there are many of us in this situation. We grow from all of the information shared by our PLN; but, we take much time to "dink around" until we find what we are looking for!

  2. I share your challenge of balancing time well spent with time messing around. (Although, as you say, is messing around time wasted?) When I am busy, I tend to ignore social networks completely, which I don't think is a good thing because I miss so much valuable information. The key is balance, but how? Sometimes I sent time limits, so I'll tell myself I have 1 hour and then I will stop no matter what. But, it's hard! Good luck!

  3. These are good thoughts to ponder. I started my online journey into the social networks and other interactive web applications as part of my professional development plan, yet I found more "good stuff" than I ever anticipated.

    I could easily spend hours online, especially when someone needs some help or there are interesting topics being discussed. There are ALWAYS interesting topics being discussed.

    I wonder if I may be thinking the same thing as you when I think of moderation in all activities. I don't want to do housework, read, write, work out, travel or stay online all day. I try to set up a moderate schedule, yet the draw of the real people, with real ideas and real conversations tend to draw me in also. I KNOW I am a "chatty gal"!

    I believe that those of us who do interact online are lucky in many ways. One of the most important benefits is that we avoid one of the most stifling issues for educators: teacher isolation.

    I have decided it is OK to spend moderate amounts of time with my social networks, but I need to set boundaries too. Thanks for writing about this important topic.

  4. Great topic. I also find it challenging to balance my time as I get so much fun and I learn so much from my PLN.

    Exercising has been replaced by being online which is not a good thing, so thanks for reminding me to include it again.