Social media. It’s everywhere and I think most people nowadays are on one platform or the other. I’m on Facebook and Twitter (I have an Instagram account but rarely use it).
I used to use Facebook for purely social, private life stuff. Over the last couple of years, I have joined various teacher groups on there and found these to be useful sources of advice and resources. Recently, I’ve noticed a worrying trend with them. The same questions are being asked all the time (books which link to space being the most frequent example) and there’s a lot of bandwagons being jumped on.
Twitter was generally more of a professional thing for me, a way to connect with others, to discuss issues and share practice. #PrimaryRocks became a useful weekly chat and through it I made contact with many more teachers. However, I’ve been losing faith in that platform as well. My reasons are personal, and probably my fault. You see, despite being on twitter for years, I sometimes might not tweet for a few days at a time (life, you know) and therefore I’m on the edge of edu-twitter. This has the effect of feeling like you’re tweeting into the void (most of my tweets barely get a response) and if I join in an already established conversation I feel like I’m interrupting a group of friends who all know each other and who don’t necessarily value my input.
I’ve had my battles with clinical depression also, and think that social media can be damaging to teachers like me. We see teachers sharing resources, planning etc that they have created; teachers engaged in conversations both serious and light-hearted that we just can’t get into, and judge ourselves against them only to find ourselves wanting.
This is in no way meant to be an attack on those people, hell, I’ve probably used an idea or resource from them in class. I’m glad they exist.
But this is me right now. Stuck between irritation at Facebook and a sort of isolation on twitter.