Reflections on the past 7 weeks.
Before commencing the Social Media Technologies module as part of my MSc I had distanced myself from using Twitter and WordPress as personal outlets to broadcast my own opinions.
I viewed personal blogging and tweeting as being self-indulgent practices. This was because, rather than seeing the bigger picture, I had become irritated by the people out there who are far too wrapped up in themselves, believing that everything they have to blog is genuinely interesting and worthy of everyone reading it (of which there are a good few). The same people tweet with the misguided view that others really give a crap about, for example, what they have for breakfast every morning. It is the online equivalent of shouting “look at me, look at me, aren’t I clever”. This phenomenon had always put me off. I had no interest in being like that. I would much rather use my time developing my audio production skills.
From participating in the web culture this module promotes, my outlook has changed somewhat. It has forced me to put aside my reservations and try it out first hand.
Two notions came up in lectures which helped spur me:
- Everyone has something of value to contribute (Helen Keegan – @heloukee)
- It is your duty to contribute (Hugh Garry – @huey)
I had never properly considered the fact that I have ideas of real value to blog about. In the past, even if I did have a viewpoint that might have been interesting I always felt insecure about publishing it under my own name. “Just because I think it’s good doesn’t mean anyone else will.” I would regularly say to myself. The fear of opening myself up to potentially damning criticism (the likes of which I am guilty of dishing out) has, up until taking part in the research for this module, been holding me back.
When using social media I have always felt much more comfortable expressing my thoughts via an alias or company I have created. That way my thoughts do not just appear to be my own, in the case of Glass Ankle for instance they appear to be those of the other band members too. I have found however that not every idea is suitable or relevant enough to associate with the band, and so I have been limited in the type of blogs I am able to produce.
The more I have blogged as guregor11, the more I have become accustomed to it. In fact, it has even proved enjoyable at times. Instead of holding back and purely spectating, I now feel empowered to publish my own thoughts and talk about the issues that matter to me in the hope that other people will be able to connect. If others can do it, so can I!
Social technology provides the opportunity to contribute to worldwide discussions. So, if you have something you want to say, go for it! If you don’t the over-confident, arrogant types will be the ones taking all the credit and excitement for themselves! Your expertise and personal experience can prove inspirational even if at this moment you are doubtful. This was what @huey was referring to when he talked of it being our “duty” to share our wisdom and knowledge so that the next generation are able to utilise and build upon it. Applying this mode of thought will help accelerate change and innovation and ensure the survival of our disciplines/business/etc.
By contributing there is huge potential for creating many new possibilities for your career. There is no question that tweeting and blogging are priceless skills for building networks and boosting ones professional identity. I hope to tap into this more in the future.
“May be it’s not the best blog in the world, but (at least) I’ve got one!”.
P.S. I would like to thank all of the people who have taken the time comment on my posts. It means a lot to me and has encouraged me no end. I promise from now on to be more active in commenting on your sites and posts as this is an important aspect of blogging I have not given enough attention.