Monday, 15 August 2011

Social Media: The New Disruption

No Man is an Island by neotint

Social media is all about shifting power relationships.   With new channels of communication opening up and old certainties changing some may react with fear.  None of us are quite sure how things are going to evolve but there is obviously as much potential for good, collaboration, co-operation and transparency, as for bad.  It will depend on attention and intention.

The risks and rewards of social  media obviously extend to professional development.

The reward of a wide and varied Personal Learning Network is balanced against the risk of being poorer in terms of time.
The reward of overcoming the barriers of cost and geography are balanced against the risk of decreased physical contact.
The reward of instant, quick information against the risk of shallow, transitory  links which fall short of knowledge.

I guess as I progress with my use of social media I need to ensure that I keep assessing how to get the best from the tools in terms of connectivity, efficiency and knowledge sharing.  

I feel strongly that social media helps to foster a sense of community.   I guess community covers things like satisfaction, loyalty and contribution; feeling at home, interest in what is going on within the community, and similar values and beliefs.   Virtual or online communites can provide all of these things.  Seems to boil down to the quality of interactions and relationships.  Also depends on need and what an individual wants out of the experience.  I don't see " lurking" in a negative light if that is what an individual wants to do, could be a really valuable learning experience.

Bradley Kreit's encouraging post highlights the emphasis that we should be putting on creating "trusting and connected societies" because being connected greatly increases our wellbeing.   So lets use social media for the good.

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