Social media is great. It’s a way for us to communicate with friends, family, colleagues, and the world. All of the different platforms allow us access to vast amounts of information, all at the tip of our fingertips. And how do we use it? Do we better mankind by pooling information? Absolutely. Do we maintain or reignite existing relationships to combat the complacency in our lives? Definitely. Do we explore our world by reaching out to those different from us, thereby creating a global community? Yes. With all of the fantastic things that we use social media for, what could possibly be the most important thing we do with our access to the vastness of the internet and its social media platforms? We watch and share cat videos of course!
Seriously, social media allows us to interact with the world in our own unique ways. We can express out political affiliations, our addictions to fandoms, our love of all things kale…ok that’s a stretch but you get my meaning. Social media is our social lives online. The trick is balancing out our professional lives versus our social lives. It’s a balancing act that is actually much, much harder than it seems.
Top elementary schools teachers like Shari Duddy know that there are strict guidelines given to them about their social media presence. Does that mean that all social media interactions are relegated to discussions about that is the best books on sharing for kindergartners? Not at all. What does mean is that top elementary school teachers are given practical guidelines that most of us should follow, but don’t, when it comes to posting online.
Expert elementary teacher Shari Duddy recommends teachers use common sense when using social media. First, always set up two accounts. The first is your professional account. This is the account that the public has access to. You can share your accomplishments as well as discuss things relevant to educators. ALL of your work related relationships belong here. No family, no friends, only professional relationships. Your professional account is all that the world needs to know about your life. It is imperative that you keep it as professional as possible.
The other account is private. Family and friends go on this account. This account is the one that you use to share all of those crazy cat videos. And don’t forget the pictures of your cousin Mary helping you silly string your other cousin James on that family cruise to Aruba last summer. This account is your personality, who you truly are. This is the account that is your social presence on social media. Think of your private account as a scrapbook with pictures from a spontaneous backyard BBQ.
What about that really cool teacher that you have established a social relationship outside of work with? Which account does he/she belong on? According to Shari Duddy, a top elementary teacher, it’s best to keep this person on your professional list. This relationship is a professional relationship first, a social one second. More likely than not, you’ll be sharing adventures in real life anyway.
There are so many platforms that we use every day for social media, whether it’s sharing pictures, pinning ideas to online boards, or listening to music. Each platform is unique in what it does and how we use it to share our self to the world. Whether you are a top elementary teacher or a random 11th grader getting ready for the big spring dance, how we use social media to present ourselves to the world is what makes all of the platforms so incredibly important to our lives. SOCIAL media is just that, social. The more we as a society use social media to reach out to the world, the more we are becoming a social society. I’m pretty sure our cat overlords are purring in satisfaction. Be Well.