Communication is tricky now a days, and not just for the young. With social media continually prompting for comments it is no wonder we have a glut of opinions out there. And of course, it is okay to have an opinion, but is it best to have an opinion on everything? Unfortunately the platforms on which people share are compounding the issue. In a race to post something timely people appear rushed to judgement and do not take time to research or even ask questions. These platforms encourage others to respond in kind.
The real problem that this creates is a cycle of escalation; where people respond to one opinion with their own opinion while nothing is solved. That seems more like a fight than sharing with a “friend.”
I know social media is relatively new, but at what point will the adults in the audience attempt to understand before proclaiming the most provocative thing that fits within the character limit?
As educators I think we may have to adult up first. Honestly out of self-preservation. There are some social media post that may terminate your employment with a school. There are certainly posts
As educators we have a special calling to educate. How many times has each of us included the education of parents along with the education of their students? We may want to consider including the wider circle of our “friends” on these social medias as well. Because until the majority of people are raised out of a reactionary cycle the promise of social media eludes them.
Educators are uniquely qualified to model the questioning process. And while most of your adult “friends” on social media have been to school, have they ever brought a classroom back from the brink with calm authority? See, that’s what teachers can do. We can model how to seek to understand before forcing other people to try to understand us. We can share things on social media with a sincere attempt to better know something. Does that sounds like pie-in-the-sky to you? Consider the way educators use Twitter. Highly professional discourse, asking questions, sometimes respectfully challenging each other, but growing a PLN (Personal Learning Network).
We’ve got this.
Now we need to model for the rest of our “friends” on social media. Because the opinions are too caustic, numerous and the questions and civility are too short.