There are still many levels of reservation I come across when talking with other educators about getting connected. At each level it seems like fear or intimidation are the restricting factors blocking us from reaching out.
At one level there ate the educators that do not use social media to learn and share. Rather than being embraced, social media was seen as the “boogie man” of education. When i was first hired I was told to hide away my social media if I had any because parents and students might look you up. I thought that made sense at first, but then I realized that as long as I had nothing to hide, why would that be a problem?
The fear in accessing social media for learning and sharing stems from two major fears:
Fear of the unknown – What if I go on to these sites and something bad happens?
My question for them is simply, what if you don’t go on and nothing happens? We need to stop fearing the worst and start fearing inaction! A great quote from a kids movie I love is,
“I fear the worst Will.”
“So do I, because fearing the best is a complete waste of time!”
Being paralyzed by fear of the unknown can destroy the potential for great things.
The second fear is fear by intimidation.
Most if us have had it at some point, we connect with people via social media but then for some reason we put them on a pedestal. I was taken aback when someone made a comment to me about me being incredible because of my twitter and the edchat I hosted, how they were unsure if they could do it. I was embarrassed because I had only been connected maybe a month longer than her.
I have always taken the approach that we are all here to learn and share. Don’t be afraid to connect with people you find interesting. Don’t be afraid to empower the voice of others. I love that now others are leading the chat I started because I feel like I am paying forward the opportunity that others have given to me.
How do you think the person with 10,000 twitter followers got them? They are open and always willing to share and listen to great ideas. The more we overcome this fear the better we will all be!
So, don’t let fear be an excuse, connect without fear!