My Complicated Relationship with Social Media

Lately I’ve been reflecting back a lot on my experience in MSLOC 430, Creating and Sharing Knowledge, especially as it relates to social media. Going through a bit of a transformation myself, I’ve shifted my thinking from social media as a “nice to have” activity that wasn’t really for me to thinking of social media and enterprise networks as essential tools to foster knowledge sharing and growth throughout an organization.

More specifically:

I used to think that social media was a superfluous activity without much meaning or purpose.

Now I think social media offers valuable affordances to share knowledge in an organizational setting.

I used to think social media was overwhelming.

Now I think that social media can be experienced in “small bites,” on an as-needed basis.

I used to think that posting my thoughts on social media was intimidating (i.e., I don’t have anything interesting to say).

Now I think it’s easy to start a thought-provoking conversation on social media, and I don’t have to have all the answers to do so.

I used to think I needed to be educated and trained on a social platform before I could engage with it.

Now I think “dive right in!” You learn how to use a platform by using it and engaging with it.

I used to think sharing “half-baked” work would make me look incompetent.

Now I think that it’s fun to think out loud, narrate my work and share initial drafts with peers.

I used to think that learning happened through direct instruction using codified information.

Now I think that learning happens in many ways and can be simultaneously explicit and tacit, and social media is a great place for tacit learning to happen.

Before I took 430, I chose “it’s complicated” to describe my relationship with social media. I found social media to be intimidating and struggled a bit with the purpose for engaging with it. I’ve always been overwhelmed with the choices — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn — and while I have accounts with each, I felt that I needed to pick one and stick with it as my “platform of choice.”

After taking 430, however, I now engage with all of them when I want to and when it serves a purpose for me. I no longer feel guilty that I don’t post enough on one or lurk on another. I’m diving in when I want to and, when I’m there, I’m liking and commenting more in an effort to engage in a more meaningful way. While I’m still not much of a poster, I am much more comfortable and confident about putting content out there.


Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

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