Monday, November 25, 2013


When MySpace, yes, I said MySpace, started spreading, it became popular to have the most "friends." On the same thread, it also became important to put on a more public face for your followers. Sometimes that face was just just a cleaned up version of the real thing while, other times, it was an exaggerated version of one side of the person.

Then, when Facebook took the front stage, it, too, became a challenge to get the most friends, have the most popular status, etc.

Moving forward to Twitter: Within my personal and professional learning networks, I have elected to keep my Twitter account focused solely on my career - education. I do this so I can model the network to other teachers and showcase it as an educational tool rather than a private Miley Cyrus network. Because I only follow educators and I only have educators follow me, I expect a slightly different audience than Facebook and...MySpace. However, I've noticed that, even though the conversations are different, there is still this need to have the most followers.

Is that need there to facilitate networking and to push ideas out to the most people? Or is that need there to show a Twitter-lebrity status? I have seen a recent push-back in educators and heavy Twitter users who have found a focus on facilitating a public face rather than creating authentic connections.

Likewise, can you judge your success as an educator - or a person - by the number of retweets, favorites, likes, or +1s? How many people have you impacted (and you may not even know) who do not acknowledge your social media presence? How should we judge our larger success - through our social networking face or our day-to-day educator face?

This is a discussion I would like to have, not only with fellow educators, but with students. This is digital literacy; however, the recent focus has been on to comment and become a public face. That is important, but so is learning to be authentic and to make authentic connections.

What do you think? Can we push social media to be more authentic?

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