Today is my Twitter Birthday! Two years and 1711 followers ago I set up a Twitter account. Hearing how great @suzanbrandt thought it was and all the cool things she was learning finally caught up to me and I signed up, stole the people she was following and gave it a spin. I didn’t get it and it wasn’t until January 2009 during EduCon weekend I got it (here is an explanation of my Ah Ha! moment).
Two years ago I was in EdS school (which annoyingly enough I’m still in), a mom of newborn, and a teacher looking for a way out of education. I was working for a degree in Tech in Ed and beyond frusterated a job in that field had yet to come (I still am, but have come to enjoy what I am doing while I wait). I had the class from “you know where” with parents who thought it was better to spend their time gossiping about me than help their children. I was burnt out and ready to quit it all.
Once the spring came and I was finally getting the hang of this twitter and PLN stuff I started realizing that education was still my passion. I was getting encouragement from others and ideas of ways to use technology or different teaching methods in my classroom. My outlook on education and the way I viewed my job was renewed. I felt like a fresh teacher again not one who had been at it for 6 years.
The past years I have met life long friends. Some of which I have shared a meal, shared a laugh, or shared tears. This summer, which I have dubbed my “Summer of Twitter”, I met many social media friends in real life. (I say it that way because not just educators from my PLN, but wonderful people who are from Birmingham and do great things for our community.)
I have said this many times, social media relationships are like any other relationships. You still have the negatives. It hurts just as bad to have a friend send a DM to tell you another is talking about you because she didn’t like your joke then same way it would hurt when a f2f friend whispers the same. It hurts when a friend unfollows becuase a disagreement (had my first taste back in July and every time it hurts just as bad). People are even more critical online because they can say it and sign off. So the negatives are there.
I say that as a caution but I want to stress that just like with any relationship it is worth the risk. I am so thankful for all of you I have met via social media and look forward to more friendships in my future. Thank you all for being my friend and I wouldn’t trade you guys for anything!
**credit for picture is Mariana Pugliese from flicker & my bestest Twitter friend Mr Glenn modified it 🙂 http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/pugliesem/4713654668/