Becoming intimidating?

I was about to post about edtechroundup, but I’m going to leave it for a day or two now and write this instead.

When I first got into blogs I signed up to a load of RSS feeds, then some podcasts, then Facebook, now Twitter and so it goes on. You see the same names, faces and avatars and it can be quite intimidating. People seem to have ideas that you don’t quite understand, talk about things you;re not familiar with and there can be a real pressure to catch up. And trying to make sure you follow or sign up to the right sites (not missing anyone important out) can be exhausting.

Except that there isnt really any pressure – it’s all imaginary.

It reminds me of being back at school and feeling I had to keep up with my mates’ CD collections and following the latest bands (and the ‘right’ bands at that). Actually I’m much better off liking what I like and being done with it.

And that’s what all these social networking innovations should be. There shouldn’t be a pressure to use them all, or any specific one, or even ANY of them at all. And you shouldn’t be intimidated by people who’ve been doing it for longer than you. In my experience they are, without fail, the nicest and most welcoming people imaginable.

Yes, it can sometimes be like going to the pub with a new friend and all his old mates with back-stories and past histories, but it all sorts itself out quite quickly and if people do talk over your head then they are very willing to explain if you point that fact out.

I’ve been talking about Twitter since I signed up (less than a week ago and I’m already dependant on it) both on here and on the TES and I know that some people feel obliged to take it up and they’re not being professional if they don’t force themselves to try and follow this stuff. Now I would encourage the willing to give it a go, and for me the benefits are enormous, but no-one should feel they have to, and if that is your main motivation then I doubt you’ll stick around long or get the full use out of it.

So if you see this blog, and you think it’s another one of those teachers in that social networking clique then PLEASE try not to. I’m also a human being – lazy, forgetful, perpetually behind with marking – just like you! And I’m going to try to avoid being cliquey in my posts. Promise.

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