Oh dear, I think I may put some noses a little out of joint with this one.
This is my ‘how I see social media working for me’ post.
There used to be this divide, see, and it was quite clear – Facebook was for Real Life friends, Twitter was for teaching contacts.
And it was fine like that. I was keeping in touch with my friends on Facebook, and sharing and connecting with other teachers, both similar to myself and very different, all over the place, and not even all teachers, in fact. Twitter was easy (alright, after the initial ‘difficult’ hump at the beginning, I grant you, but then there’s advice about that), tweeting, sharing, retweeting, connecting, even, yes, having a laugh at times. It was manageable. And it was manageable (for me) up until it got over to the following/followers numbers going above 1,000. Heck one day you find yourself following and being followed by almost two thousand people! But it’s still quite manageable – you can dip in and out of Twitter when you want, you don’t have to be always on to make the most of it (in face, stepping away for a bit can be a Good Thing). So, Twitter is ok.
Why not use social networks? asks Joel Josephson, and I can see his arguments, I really can. And teachers have started connecting on Facebook. But I do not want everyone I’m in contact with on Twitter to be in contact with me on Facebook. I don’t want 1,000-odd ‘friends’. Yes, I know you can limit the privacy settings, and put people on lists, but I’m not prepared to go through that analysis every time someone sends me a friend request. With Facebook for me, either you’re in or out – I’ll only add someone as a friend if we’ve met and had at least a chat face-to-face.
If you’re reading this, and you really want to connect on Facebook, can you do it via my Page please? It’s why I set it up…
Footnote – I know there are some who will be thinking ‘Hold on, Mike, aren’t you being a bit hypocritical there?’ and yes, it’s true, there are 10 people who are ‘friends’ on Facebook who I have never met face-to-face. What I’ll say is that this post is setting out my future framework for working with and on social media.