Deactivating Twitter

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During my vacation, I realized I could live without Twitter.  So I deleted my account.

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I used and enjoyed the social media site for many years, and I much prefer Tweeting over Facebooking.  I also found that Twitter was a great way to share my professional work: blog posts, Slideshare presentations, and interesting articles.  However, I also found that I was wasting quite a bit of time each day scrolling through my phone or computer to see updates from other people.

Since I have a really tough few months ahead of me with school and work, I wanted to eliminate some unnecessary “time-wasters” from my life, and I found that Twitter had become one of those.

Did you recently delete your Facebook or Twitter accounts?  How did you feel after deleting?

Juan Enriquez: Your online life, permanent as a tattoo

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Another huge reason I deactivated my Facebook account was because I found the social networking site becoming more and more invasive and terrifying.  People complain about their work on Facebook; post really negative images and ideas; document personal details about their lives; and forget that their every move is behind recorded for eternity.

Juan Enriquez’s TED Talk “Your online life, permanent as a tattoo” explains the now-blurred lines between public and private life.  Everything we do on the Internet is our “online tattoo” that will live far longer than we will.  To me, this idea is scary.

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Of course, Enriquez doesn’t focus exclusively on Facebook, though, I would argue, this is the place people share the most about their private life.  Enriquez’s four lessons can help us navigate the online world: 1) be careful what you post; 2) don’t look too far in the past of those you love; 3) remember the purpose (don’t get distracted by those “golden apples”); and 4) don’t fall in love with your own reflection.  To be able to follow these lessons, we definitely need perspective.  Can you imagine being 13 or 14 years old and understanding the magnitude of what you’re doing online?

What did you think about Enriquez’s TED Talk?  How do you maintain your online persona?  Is your online tattoo largely positive or negative?

Solitary Sundays

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My superstudents in May Professional Communication and Presentation have really been inspiring me this month.  One particular amazing soul, Skye, presented her PechaKucha on replacing all that social media/texting/telephone communication with some good old fashioned face-to-face time.  Skye’s PK along with my recent studies/obsession with Sherry Turkle combined to lead me to my current experiment: Solitary Sundays.

I no longer have Facebook (see “My Year Without Facebook”), and eliminating that distraction has done wonders for my productivity and my overall quality of life.  Solitary Sundays will push those same boundaries a bit.  I plan, every Sunday from now on, to spend an entire 24 hours without social media, without texting or talking on the phone, and without watching TV or movies.  Solitary Sundays will be about reconnecting with myself, getting work done, reading, working out, and spending time with loved ones without the distractions of technology.

While I did want to do a whole “no computer/no telephone” ban, realistically, I do a lot of work on Sundays.  I grade work from my online classes and catch up on emails and late student submissions.  I also spend a lot of time developing projects… for example, these 3 videos I’m working on for the JLGO end-of-the-year May GMM have to be finished this Sunday.  Maybe I’ll work toward the “no computer/no telephone” goal; for now, here are my Solitary Sunday plans:

1) No texting, no talking on the telephone.  My phone will go in my purse for the weekend.  I will answer telephone calls only in the event of an absolute emergency.  And I’ll know it’s an emergency because the caller will also be blowing up my husband’s phone…

2) No social media.  I won’t use Twitter or Pintrest on Sundays.  Since I eliminated Facebook, I think the “no social media” will be the easiest part of this challenge.

3) No television or movies.  We, thankfully, got rid of cable about 3 years ago, but I do have Netflix.  I will no longer spend time watching reruns of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  My biggest movie time is before bed.  I will no longer watch movies to fall asleep on Sunday evenings.

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So what in the world will I do with all of myself during Solitary Sunday time?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.  I want to spend more time actually being productive.  For me, “productive” means grading (of course), reading, writing/blogging, working out, running, working in the garden, working on my class, and spending in-person quality time with my loved ones.

How will Solitary Sundays help me with my long-term goals?

I want to run a 10K and then a half-marathon as soon as I’m ready.  The more time I put in running on Sundays, the more quickly I can meet this goal.

I want to read more fiction.  I have plenty of time to read nonfiction to help me continue to develop as a superteacher and to improve my class.  I want to get back to reading for fun.

I want to spend more time writing for Creating Communication.

I want to spend more time communicating with people in person and less time through Twitter and the telephone.  Meaningful relationships take time and effort, and I’d rather be brunching than texting.

A special thank you to Skye and to Sherry Turkle for inspiring Solitary Sundays!  Will you join me?

Six Ways Social Media Helps Your Presentation Resonate

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Pintrest is opening up a whole new world for me.  Not only do I get to share and explore creative ideas with others, but I’ve found new books, new posters, and new ideas simply by using the social media site.  Unlike Facebook, Pintrest is actually a learning tool, and I cannot get enough of it.

For example, my students can use Pintrest when they are working on a project to pin articles and source material as well as images.  This helps them when it comes time to cite that work, and I find Pintrest to be a much more organized way to research and prepare for a presentation.

Today, while browsing Pintrest, I found this gem:

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What great Pintrest finds have you stumbled across this week?

Follow me on Pintrest!