Karyn Romeis asks the 'elearning blogosphere' on her (excellent) blog how we all started with social media, what our journey into this field has brought us and what professional difference it has made.
Even though I only recently started in the field of elearning, social media have always been a big part of my professional career. Having done a masters in New Media & Digital Culture, it would be sacrilege if it hadn't! But over the years I have seen a change in my use of social media.
Social media for me really did start as something 'social': keeping in touch with friends, a profile here and there, sending some messages, posting party pics on Flickr, those sorts of things. Then I became a student and social media became part of my field of study. During my studies social media became not so much something I used, as well as something I observed. I was watching social media take shape, taking notes and writing some papers about it along the way.
It was during my internships at Mediamatic and Flinders University that social media got a new dimension to me professionally. I started using an RSS reader (Google's) making it way easier for me to tap into new streams of information. A world of blogs opened up to me, a world in which people were struggling with the same challenges I was facing, or were having great ideas, insightful theories and other interesting stuff.
But that's all still observing. It's only recently that I'm starting to interact again, to become 'social' once more. But I have to say that it's coming and going. My interaction with social media hasn't been consistent. This blog of mine is the true testament of that: off and on. But then again, it's a journey. It's a learning experience. I'm only 23, and all around me I see so much to do, so much to see, so much to learn. Social media and its uses are only part of that journey, it adds something to it, but at times requires a bit too much time or effort to actively participate.
It makes me think that Time is key here (even though the fast-forward information-push from media-apps such as Twitter, suggests otherwise). It takes time for social media to root - be it in your social, college, study, personal or professional life.
You need to make connections, you need to nurture those connections, you have to expand on those connections, and most importantly you have to give and take to make it work. Social media are all about connections and growing these connections into relationships. But relationships don't happen overnight. They come with doubt, with listing pros and cons, with joy and the occasional hiccup - they come with time.
Me, I am just starting to make connections through social media. I am sowing the seeds and I am confident that social media will definitely take off more and more for me. All it needs is some time and in the mean time I'll enjoy the wonder of experiencing its growth.