In the fall of 2012, I was in the first semester of a college program to learn web development and design. Much of what I learned in the next two years was very new to me but I had a bit of knowledge in the social media sphere. I published an argument stating that I believed Social Media had become a much more valuable tool than we had ever expected. I know a lot more now but this article still has some valid points that are just as true today.
I totally support the idea that Social Media has become a far greater resource than just keeping in touch with people these days.
- It is where you can find the answers to anything, faster than it takes to dial a number or lick an envelope shut;
- It is a form of therapy – you vent, you research, you communicate, you heal;
- It is two way knowledge harvesting – ‘one for all and all for one’;
- It is geographically unlimited;
- It is always there for you; and
- It is live.
My thirteen-year-old daughter is totally plugged in to many social media outlets even though she’s only had access for a year. It is her opinion that social media has brought more conflict to us. She states that many times she has seen a simple comment put up impulsively snowball into bullying of epic proportions.
Her fifteen-year-old brother believes that it’s a great way to make friends, as he has, all over the world with PS3 game play. He has learned all manner of things from having contact with these people in different countries and situations. As a lifetime student in French Immersion, he has been able to expand his relations and knowledge base far greater than he would if he was limited strictly to his own physical location.
They both also think it is a medium to advertise pointless (personal) info, because it is fun, and it’s nice to see who can relate. The entertainment value is priceless.
I used many different means of social media for communicating and educating with many of the 52 enumerators that I trained and supervised during the 2011 Census of Canada. I was able to be available to all of them, alone or as a group, to answer questions and help resolve challenges in real time. In 2006, the only way I could help my team was on the phone, email or in person. This left many people frustrated and delayed and in some cases reduced the quality of work they were able to produce. As a result of our team’s effective use of social media in 2011, we were the first group to complete our area in all of Canada.