I am working with some of my nursing students (and learners in general) on using Twitter as extra credit to promote professional development and presence, and suggested this article as a wonderful study for how to use Twitter within nursing education. Thus, today’s #5Papers:
1/ I read Sinclair, McLoughlin, & Warne (2015) To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education… #NURS761 #NURS840
I received a notice this morning from Twitter congratulating me that I reached 3,000 followers.
Congratulations? For what? 3,000?
Granted, I am flattered that this many accounts would see some value in following me on Twitter, but like all numbers, it is only a number. Numbers have no meaning in themselves, not even existing until we call them into existence, giving them some meaning in the process. As soon as that purpose fades, so does the number. Do you remember losing your 6th tooth? How about your 8th first date? 10th homework assignment? 13th paycheck? How about 23rd birthday? Surely your 31st paycheck? 45th time at the supermarket? 51st time you went into a vehicle?
Shall I go on?
Numbers are numbers, not even existing until we make them and then assign them value, losing it as quickly as our interest. After all, 5% unemployment only matters depending on which side you are on. So to speak.
Twitter seems to find this valuable, though like most numbers, I am suspicious.
What does it mean? Is it good? Bad? Part of the club? A wannabe? Something to celebrate? Reflect upon? Lament it is too little? Too much? Does it make me happier? More money? A better retirement (ha!)? More original teeth? A fan club? Haters? I have little context for it, and thus am not sure how I am expected to make meaning out of it. They must find something useful there or I would not have received an automatic message about it.
Perhaps that is the key–how valuable is it really when it gets sent based on pre-existing coding?
Makes me wonder, why does somebody else have to make meaning for me? I am somewhat capable of making meaning on my own, and as such find value only in conversations, shared ideas, challenges, support, suggestions, and the like. Perhaps I am being negative, though while I am getting a blog post out of it, in an odd way it did evoke a reaction in me. Hmm, there you have it.
That could as easily happen with 300 as 3000, and is more likely closer to 30 with those who I engage with on a regular basis, those who celebrate ideas like #ds106 or #dLRN15 or #5Papers or even #moocmooc (with all its paradigm-bending pesky questions). Alas, numbers don’t matter for those of us who are not selling things or reliant on them to prove something to someone about something.
My ideas and constant inquiry has me interested, and if 3,000 adds to it, then wonderful! If it doesn’t, like Klout scores, I am not worse for the wear.
I am much more interested in making meaning than counting, as often the counted is meaningless until those of us who inquire more deeply come along. Long live our interest and passions, none of which are readily reducible to a number.
Goodness, did I just say that? Perhaps there is something about this 3,000 after all . . .
New Year’s is a great time to consider . . . time, and how well we live our lives while we have it.
As a did in 2013, I developed some goals and intentions for the upcoming year. I moved this to the top of my site up here, both to keep me honest and to help me easily recall what I hope to focus upon.
I would not mention these and share them publicly if these were not valuable, doable, and within reach (with some stretching). While I will hope for help and support and positive intentions, these are the things I hope to accomplish in 2014:
1. Engage in Timely Communication
I want to engage in communication, such as via Inbox ZERO (delete, delegate, respond, defer, or do) and Social Media (Twitter replies, Facebook replies, etc.), in a more timely way to better engage in and maintain conversations with networks.
2. Use a Thoughtful, Evidence-Based Approach to How I Use My Time
I completed my PhD in Educational Research in 2013, and as a result I tend to observe things around me in researcher-mode, questioning and seeking to find evidence to guide my actions and beliefs. All this takes time, and I hope to make the best use of it.
3. Approach Nature through Principles of Somatic Experiencing
I feel in many ways I am too removed from nature — food, living, breathing, exercise, living in New York City, etc. I will plan to spend more time directly interacting with the Great Outdoors.
4. Maintain Financial Balance
I want to be more aware of what I spend, and where, in an effort to help me move forward toward meeting my goals.
Let the new year proceed, and may we live in interesting times.
I Will Finish My Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation) — I passed and was awarded my PhD forthwith on March 25, 2013. I then walked in the graduation ceremony on December 11, 2013.
I will Publish an Article — I have it drafted and am planning to submit it within 2 weeks. Fingers crossed!
I will Build a Consistent Online Presence [Twitter, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, ResearchGate and my own professional website — I have revised 75% of my site (most of it on the back-end with template and hosting), and am 80% completed with being consistent across my online life. Once the website is completed, I will take that consistency and apply it to the other social media and networking sites.
I will drink 2 liters of Water Each Day — my dislike of measuring and numbers-without-context means that I have successfully increased my daily water consumption.
Given all this, my verdict is that I am happy with my progress, though not fully satisfied. Perhaps in this the notion of onward and upward, making progress along the way and keeping focused on moving forward is what is most important? To be fair, I am not sure I could ever be fully satisfied, even if I did complete each of the goals / intentions I set. I believe that is the point with these things, they give us something to strive toward.