Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

I’m hearing a ton of conversations about how we need to have more conversations in social media spaces. With all of the latest technologies, we should be able to connect not just more–but more meaningfully, too. In fact, our networking could spiderweb to invite others to new ideas, strategies, resources, and ways of thinking. Together, we have the power to change the world!

But it seems like that kind of networking–pure motives and all–has become a rare commodity of sorts. Maybe my expectations were too high, and, of course, it’s possible that I’m still misunderstanding. Maybe they lean more professional learning networks and not as much personalized learning networks.

Were the manners in which we use social media just functions of our own offline, social habits all along? Were Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter simply mirroring our inner selves, personalities, positives, and imperfections included? Have high school cliques and NO __________________ Allowed Clubs simply moved to online communities now?

How many times have you seen the same people sharing the same message with the same people? 

This isn’t about the numbers. It’s not about how many followers or friends we have. It’s not even about how social media have changed our communication habits to redefine our self worth, market our messages, or assume identities and practices that don’t match our true selves.

This is about leveraging technologies to make meaningful connections. It’s about making a difference–together. It’s about growing and expanding our circles for quality, not necessarily for quantity.

These are some goals that I’m continually working on.

If You Want Friends, Be A Friend

When I hear this phrase, I’m immediately reminded of advice from my network:

In his post, Benjamin Gilpin reminded educators that it’s not about me. In fact, if you want fulfillment in life–including social spaces–start by serving others. Principal Gilpin elaborates:

“My belief is this (and this led to my turnaround), if you are focused on your own stature, happiness, prestige or benefits you are likely to experience unfulfilled expectations.  You will be disappointed.  You will feel unsupported.  You will feel unappreciated. However, if you focus on serving and helping others you will constantly be aiming to support and help make the people around you better.  This will create more joy and purpose in your life.   Shifting to a mindset of serving will make every setback an opportunity.”

In one of his #becomebetterdaily vlogs, Phil Echols describes another way to keep your motives pure in any relationship. He advised us to give without keeping score. When you examine all of the systems–including education–that intersect our lives, it’s natural to think in terms of transactions. In fact, I can’t think of many instances in which giving comes without the expectation of receiving, or at least reciprocation. Can you?

In the giant ecosystem of education, Phil adds: success relies on interdependence. We need each other.

If You Want To Lead, Follow

Being a great leader means knowing when to follow.

What if following someone didn’t mean just clicking the Follow button or stalking them on social media? What if following started with motives and intentions for learning?

Can we still have meaningful conversations on social media?

How do we go about engaging, learning, and leading through conversation?

Bill Ferriter encourages us to be someone’s conversational follower. If you want meaningful conversation, initiate it yourself.

Multiply Leaders By Celebrating First Followers

Leaders are always innovating. That means they’re either creating something new or making something better. Occasionally, innovative leaders can feel lonely when an idea, strategy, initiative, or vision isn’t readily embraced or implemented.

That is, until that first follower… And we should be celebrating our first follower.

However, I’m learning that a leader’s role goes far beyond just celebrating followers. Dr. Steven Weber added:

“Some people just add leaders. I don’t need them to follow me… I need to multiply leaders who will then turn around and multiply more leaders.”

Upon reflection, maybe it’s not about the media at all. Maybe it’s about people–and how we treat each other.

2 Replies to “Social Media–What’s in it for Me?”

  • Hey Kyle,

    This post reminded me of one of my favorite quotes,
    “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” – Rabindranath Tagore

    When we focus on raising others up it comes back to us x100.

    : )

    • Oh… Wow. I just read that three times. I like that! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it.

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