Sure, I am playing with the title of a show that I am pleased to state that few of my students know but alas, it is true.
I decided to take a true Twitter break during my March Break. I took a solid 6 days away from the 4 accounts that I support by deleting the app from my phone in an effort to avoid any temptation. I admit, the first two days were rough. The whole FOMO (fear of missing out) was not something that I felt but more so this odd addictive sensation of needing to check my phone for a notification or DM was apparent. A bizarre sense of simply being in touch with Twitterverse was something I did not think would happen but alas, I truly felt that I needed to check my account.
Four days in and a shift in my mindset arose. I quickly realized my true dependence upon checking Twitter for reasons that I could not fully explain but for the fact that I wanted to be in touch with the world. For this reason, this simple ability to connect with the world, I will stay connected to Twitter but alas, I hope to never feel this feeling of dependence on an application that I found to leave me feeling anxious and stressed; feelings mirrored by a colleague of mine during his break from the social media platform.
While away from Twitter, I certainly noted a stronger connection made back to the person I used to be; the one who read daily in paper format, who ran for the fun of it, or who said to friends and family ‘let’s get that game of Quiddler going okay’? All of the above happened but at the quality of attention that it deserved; I often found myself checking my Twitter account versus being fully present in the moment. Being present in the moment is one of the benefits that rendered itself apparent during my break. I also came to a few realizations about the impact Twitter possibly has, based on colleague conversations, towards teacher development.
The possible negative impact that Twitter extend towards a teacher due to the many tweets a day showcasing the amazing work happening in classrooms around the world. Such posts certainly can act as an inspirational opportunity but for some, it can transfer into a sense of being overwhelmed by what they are not doing to promote student growth and opportunity in the classroom. In essence, keeping up with Twitter can seem all too much to some and as they bring new ideas into the classroom based on what they see, they may be doing as such without effective thought as to why they are implementing this new idea.
By no means do I wish to state this is true of all teachers or perhaps I am completely off my rocker, something that happens more often than not. I also realize that the way in which Twitter is used is completely dependent upon the person using the application. Sadly, for those that I talked to over the past few days in a face-to-face format, their realizations about Twitter and the need to be more delicate towards its use mirrors the thoughts presented in the post.
So perhaps this is a bit of a Rick Mercer Rant. I would be hypocritical to say that I do not adore Twitter, I do. I just now, after having an account for a mere two years, recognize that my use is not about keeping up with twitter verse but more, ensuring that I am connecting with those that will inspire my practice and in turn, foster a strong sense of community among my students due to our online presence.
Yours in Learning,
The Enthusiastic Learner
(and yes, I do find some irony in the fact that I have not posted in months and yet I chose this to be my first topic of return. C’est la vie non?)