On social networks and my internet anxiety ...

I have been very resistant to change most of my life. Since I know this, I always try very hard to be open, force myself to experiment, and embrace innovation desperately, especially in my teaching. On the other hand, I am a very private person and prefer to remain very low profile and social networks demand participation, socialization, sharing, communication, time ... but that's how knowledge is built, connected, created and re-created, right?

In a world where people in their late twenties -like my children- cannot imagine how their parents could work in the past without Internet, mails, even a computer for writing a memo, and our grandchildren are born with an i-phone or a blackberry by their side, sliding pictures intuitively or by imitation with their tiny fingers ... we can't escape change and social networks have become an integral part of our lives, whether we like them or not.

Nowadays I don't blog as much as I used to, except when I set up class blogs or wikis for my students. I don't have time to be looking for new tools to be discussed in my personal blog anymore and I don' t want to be re-copying what others are finding to fill a space. I have not made an effort to make others follow my sites and prefer to quietly read what the "experts" in the area are into. When I have a specific need to help my students, I simply Google to find what I want, or so I think. I prefer to use fewer tools that I can handle well than the newest gadget that just came up into existence. But I am always suffering from FOAMS, fear of always missing something , and SONGCOP (just made it up), shame of not giving back to communities of practice where I have learned so much ...

I am always amazed at how certain social tools gain popularity and are widely used. Phenomena such as Twitter and Facebook are beyond imagination. Who would have guessed? I probably do not blog as much, for example, because Facebook has taken precedence in my personal life to stay connected with family and friends all over the world: a daughter in Canada, a son in Australia, a niece in Germany, another in London, one more in Illinois, and most important of all, a husband in Bogota while I am usually in Caracas ... so sharing pictures and keeping updated with the political situation in Venezuela seem to take most of my free time at the moment. I do not twitter much but follow a couple of lists, especially from the university student movement and their political actions, and national news.

All these networks seem to grow unpredictably beyond their original idea into monsters of what seems to be random information but with amazing possibilities to those who can see through it with their special glasses. As Vance Stevens says (although in a different context), it is fascinating "how a system so prone to chaos and entropy so often works through the wisdom of the crowds that populate it to keep the pieces loosely joined all heading in the same direction."

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I am glad to know I am not the only one in evomlit who is also behind and a bit scared of how technology has changed exponentially.

Hi Berta

What a wonderful site. This post in particular struck a chord.

I do a lot of voluntary work on Hospital Radio and through my work at All Jigsaw Puzzles
I've seen how the internet has helped bring often very lonely carers (and the people they care for)smile again. That just wouldn't have been possible without the internet.

Take care
Best wishes
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