I’m writing something a little different today in the spirit of the month of October. I was thinking the other day of how ironic it is that I’m an online teacher. Before entering this new world, I resisted using technology as much as I could. Computers were overwhelming for me because I didn’t know very much about them and I knew there was so much I needed to learn. Then I became very frustrated by my lack of understanding once I did start using the computer more often, than just for logging into Facebook. One time I spent hours just trying to find a way to change my picture on WordPress.
When I decided that it was time to stop resisting the use of technology, I felt like I had gotten into step with the rest of the world. I had stopped trying to resist the tech zombies and let myself get bit by this disease. You can only resist something for so long until you realize that it’s just the way of the future. I could either be one the few resisters of the upcoming technology apocalypse or finally join the crowd of the of social media zombies that seemed to be spreading everywhere. I don’t normally like to fall into step with the crowd because I like to consider myself a unique individual! I prided myself on being one the last few survivors of my generation that hadn’t stepped over into the endless crowd of tech zombies, who I thought had lost the ability to communicate socially with each other in person and placed their number one priority in devouring as much technology as possible.
But after I began my initiation into this dark world, I didn’t become a lost soul in the crowd after all. Rather, I was able to show my individualism even more! Through blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I was able to sculpt my tone, style, and persona through these technology outlets as I wanted to. I actually have been able to discover more about myself since I have seen what I can create online. I no longer view social media as being composed of mindless tech zombies, but as creative and strategic individuals who are revolutionizing our world. Using social media, I have been able to see my thoughts and creativity come alive.
I’ve also been able to actually teach again! I no longer have to spend countless hours trying to put together and implement behavior plans or waste my breathe disciplining students in class. I can turn off their microphone and chat box as needed and finally teach again. On the flip side, students who just want to come to class and learn what they need to learn so they can do want they want the rest of the day, can do that to. It’s a win/win.
So how do you overcome becoming a mindless tech zombie using social media?
First, move slowly. Keep your eyes on the target and take small steps to get there. Know that eventually you will learn the ropes, even if it feels like you’re dragging one leg behind you as you take each step. As you gain more knowledge, you will be able to move a little faster to get to your targets quicker.
Second, take small bites or you might choke. Start with one area before you move onto another. Don’t try to engulf everything about social media at the same time. You can check on statbrain.com to find out which websites generate the most traffic. The more people who visit a website, the more traffic you have to infect, I mean effect.
Third, there is a strategy behind every bite. Begin with Facebook or LinkedIn and apply what you have learned by looking at what other zombies, I mean people, have done. Read blogs and look at other websites to get ideas to apply to your own. Think about what the pictures you use say about your site. Are you posting write ups that are easy for your followers to share on their page? Are you finding pages related to yours so you can give them feedback?
Fourth, move on. Once you have left your mark on social media, you can watch as your audience begins to spread the word. You can sit back and watch how there used to be an empty space and now you have brought into creation a page that is uniquely yours and gaining attention. It’s exciting to see the exponential growth begin to take effect.
Fifth, don’t isolate yourself. Make sure to still talk to your friends and family face to face or using the telephone. Even if it’s just one real quick conversation a week, there’s no need to place yourself into quarantine.
Have a safe Halloween!