I have decided to participate in the “My One Word” Challenge for 2017. My word is…positivity. I chose this word because I felt that I needed to demonstrate greater appreciation and gratitude for the people, things and events in my life. But, I recognized that the energy which surrounds me needs to be healthy in order for me to demonstrate positivity; what we breathe in we also breathe out. For example, if much of what surrounds us is toxic, we become toxic, and exude toxicity.
Let me begin with the positive. Twitter has allowed me to connect with some wonderful individuals, many of whom I like and care about, and with whom I enjoy conversing, to extent that one can on Twitter. I even have had the opportunity to meet some of these lovelies in-person. Additionally, I have been afforded some equally wonderful professional opportunities, and have enjoyed participating in enriching Twitter chats, including my newest fave and one in which I am directly involved, #WomenEdUS. Last, I get much of my news, information and commentary from Twitter, and I learn tons.
Lately, however, Twitter for me has become more and more toxic, and less and less positive. Which is lowering my spirits, and stealing my joy, due to the toxicity that Twitter seems to be exuding more of. Therefore, I have decided to limit my time on Twitter. Back in July of 2016, I engaged in some very deep reflection regarding Twitter, and my relationship with it. I have been on Twitter for a long time – since 2008, to be exact. At the beginning, Twitter was fun. It was like enjoying a good meal with well-liked co-workers. It was also far more enriching, nurturing, supportive, compassionate, and empathetic. As the years have rolled on, I am finding Twitter becoming less of these things. In a word, Twitter has become a sort of vampire, sucking the life out of me intellectually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, as well as in terms of my time. And, none of these things contributes to positivity.
Now, I realize that I have recently returned from co-facilitating a workshop at a national conference on social networking and professional development. I still maintain the positive power of Twitter for professional learning, networking and connecting. And yet, I gotta keep it a buck, I gotta keep it 100: One has to decide how and to what extent Twitter, or, any social networking platform, for that matter, will meet his/her needs professionally. Furthermore, one must always be ready, and educators, especially, to step back, evaluate and regulate accordingly.
On the one hand, I keep hoping that “a change is gonna come”, to quote the late great Sam Cooke. On the other hand, I think that Twitter as a platform for my needs has delved too deeply into the dark side. Moreover, I am realizing that my voice, my ideas and my writing will neither be developed nor amplified in a series of 140-character soundbites.
Therefore, I am re-dedicating myself to my blog, and to my writing, which is the other social networking platform my co-facilitator and I discussed at the conference. And, I am going to engage in spaces – whether online or offline – where I stand a greater chance of giving and receiving the things that are important to me and in ways that are positive. In short, I am getting into a different groove.