|Two things: this is exactly my opinion of social media at times|
lately and I love giphy.com! You can find ANYTHING there!
And while there has been more negativity lately, it doesn't stop there. There is also an overabundance of the "perfect" classrooms, lessons, etc. Very rarely do I see people posting about their struggles with something, it's always the polished and beautiful result. Pinterest inspired classrooms, sketchnotes that no average person would ever be able to create, and handpicked student projects that make one look better flood the streams. And while I could be sharing more of my failures and struggles, it's rather discouraging when I see things like this because it's something that the average educator now feels that they need to "live up to", myself included. I have never done much with sketchnoting because of this, even after hearing multiple people say, "it's whatever you make of it, don't worry about how it looks". But even then, encouraging people to draw their thinking instead of writing it while displaying borderline Da Vincis to the world isn't a great way to inspire others to try sketchnoting.
And I have to give Ryan O'Donnell a shout out for this next thought: when replying to a message in which several people have been tagged, if it is something that enriches the conversation and moves it forward, by all means, reply to everybody. However, too often messages are sent to everybody that pertain to only one in the thread (think email reply all). This can often lead to a series of notifications that are meaningless to many, as they do not apply to anything regarding the original message.
I get especially irritated by some of the "Follow Friday" or other random tags of people in messages that eventually result in a lot of "irrelevant to my mission of social media" notifications. I have turned more and more to muting conversations or even individuals as a result of these types of messages overrunning my feed and notifications. I wholeheartedly agree that we should follow other educators and that we are better when working and communicating together, but must we announce that to every person that we follow, follows us, or we happen to meet at a conference? A lot of times, I feel like many of these types of posts are simply ploys to gain likes and followers rather than an authentic method of connecting educators to one another.
And I don't want to come across as some ungrateful jerk, but there are many reasons why I am not on social media. I'm not on social media to be force-fed opinions masqueraded as fact. I'm not on social media to be attacked or witness others being attacked, especially if trying to participate in civilized discussion. I'm not on social media to earn followers, likes, retweets, and saccharine-laced messages of how my mere presence or the presence of others somehow makes the world go round. I appreciate civil discourse, words of encouragement, and opinions so long as they are supported by fact and presented respectfully.
There is enough negativity on social media, especially outside of the educators that have embraced social media. I understand that toxicity is like cancer and can spread quickly and easily, that is why it is important for educators to stay positive in the face of negativity. But at the same time, positivity needs to be authentic and needs to celebrate the struggles as much as the successes. I know that many are going to have issues with my thoughts here and I welcome you to disagree, respectfully.
Until next time...