As I’m listening to Techlandia yesterday, Curt Rees (@CurtRees) and Jessica Johnson (@PrincipalJ) hit a segment where they were talking about how we should be digging deeper into those social connections that we have. They talked about calling each other, messages left by others, just small things that really can make a person’s day.
This is just hard for me, period. I am painfully shy, that person in a group of new people that really needs to be drawn into the the group or will quiet the whole time. I’ve never made friends easily, and making close friends is even harder because I am very reserved until I get to know someone better. I laugh because my best friends are ones I can’t see on a regular basis: my old college roommate lives in the Twin Cities, another college roommate lives near Chicago, and some of my wife’s family lives out by Washington D.C., so we have to keep track of each other via social media as face to face connections aren’t happening much at all!
Now, this isn’t meant to be a “pity party” post because while I don’t have those kinds of connections, I can say that as someone who’s that wallflower, social media does give me a voice. I couldn’t talk to people about a topic like this, not hardly at all, but I can write about it hopes that maybe I can move someone else (or myself) to find that deeper connection. It gives me a way to put into written word something I’d struggle talking about. So it that’s the case with me, the adult, how about my students? How about that student who doesn’t say much? Can a blog or a Today’s Meet help them? You bet it can! Or my student who’s having a tough time verbalizing things, would having the ability to put something into type and share it give them a voice they’ve maybe not had before? Absolutely.
It’s remains to be seen if I’ll get past that surface level. As I say that, at our regional technology conferences the last two years I’ve met some pretty cool people face to face that I’ve first interacted with via Twitter. Still a heart pounding experience for me because it’s way outside of my comfort zone. Yet, as a teacher of close to 20 years now, there’s so much I don’t know. Why wouldn’t I put myself out there in the hopes of becoming better at my craft, and maybe making a friend along the way?
And yes, Curt, LaCrosse is on my list of places to get to! 🙂