Navigating social media during challenging times and lessons learned from a pause in usage

In the months since I last blogged our collective lives have changed even more. COVID-19 remains with us and without a vaccine continues to alter our worlds. In the wake of the recent deaths of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor on top of years of racial inequities outrage sparked nationwide and even globally. These events have resulted in rapid idealogical shifts along with much needed conversations and in many cases action to lead toward real movements to confront these inequalities all across the nation. By far the positives of people trying their best to become better allies, supporters and friends while deepening overall understanding, learning and growing within the ongoing work was evident throughout social media.

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https://sports.yahoo.com/a-changed-world-mlb-managers-explain-how-they-are-leading-clubhouses-after-george-floyd-coronavirus-003336144.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/11/ceos-unveil-plans-against-racial-inequality-after-george-floyd-death.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/world/meanwhile-in-america-june-12-intl/index.html

https://www.wral.com/books-for-kids-to-help-spark-conversations-about-race-justice/19128212/

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/13/us/changes-from-protests-george-floyd-trnd/index.html

We all are living in very anxious times during these times of such uncertainty. Since the pandemic rocked the world in March our lives have drastically shifted. We’ve had to collectively shift our day to day lives as we all navigate living with a global pandemic.

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When will there be a vaccine? How and when will large in person concerts and sporting events return? What about schools? When will we have more normalcy in our world? So many questions. So much unpredictability. Social media can assist with the pandemic at local, state, federal and global level when reliable information/sources are utilized.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

Social media is a great and powerful tool. It’s been a significant part of my life for well over a decade, especially Twitter. I joined the platform nearly a decade ago and had so much impact on my life even once blogged about my entry into the Twitterverse.

I’ve always operated all social media platforms under the mindset of using Facebook and Twitter for good. During these often unstable times this is especially true.

However far too often we see users not abiding by this. Actively complaining, engaging in unhealthy/productive conversations and not abiding by social media etiquette best practices. What value is added by utilizing social media platforms in such a way?

The above mentioned activity became so toxic recently in my own social media circle that I voluntarily cut out all social media for over a week. Logged off my laptop, desktop, all iOS social media apps. Done. Didn’t think about it for over a week. Life went on. The break from the negative energy was refreshing, honestly. I had so much more of my day left. I lived my life completely removed from the social media bubble. After a week plus away I was rejuvenated.

Below are some sound resources on social media best practices.

https://www.houstonpress.com/news/4-rules-of-twitter-etiquette-to-follow-immediately-11271695

https://wlstraininginc.com/social-media-etiquette/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-facebook-etiquette-rul_b_9425740

https://topdogsocialmedia.com/twitter-etiquette/

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We are living in very trying times as a society. We all deal with stress in a variety of ways. Be mindful of who and what you represent. Your words matter. Pause and reflect before you post.

 

 

Navigating a rapidly changing landscape in career and life during COVID-19

 

It’s amazing to think of how quickly our worlds both professional and personal have changed in the last few weeks alone. Interacting with teachers, students and my administrative colleagues in the building was a daily thing. Wrapping up observations for this cycle, visiting classrooms, conducting various meetings, etc. was the daily norm. Little by little cases of COVID-19 popped up in other parts of the US, then North Carolina then right here in my beloved Wake County. District meetings started to cancel, then sporting events, then, like the entire nation now, our district canceled as a preventative measure.

Teleworking. What was that? Legit has never heard that phrase a month ago, even a few weeks ago. Now – after two weeks of teleworking through Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. it’s the “new normal” as much a part of our lives as “social distancing” which also was a phrase that’s rapidly become part of our daily lives.

What has been amazing through all this is how rapidly, and effectively we all, especially within all walks of education have adapted to this swift change. Teleworking, utilizing Zoom to meet with grade level teams, district level leaders, smaller groups of educators, etc. daily to make sure we’re all on the same page with upcoming district roll-outs of distance learning and checking in on one another for some “face time”

This entire now two week plus experience above all has really put things into perspective. Life, family, our work, etc. Lots of time for pause and reflection. During the hustle and bustle of the “normal” work flow these things are easy to overlook.

Our teleworking schedules are often sandwiched with tv updates from our local and state leaders with advice and in some cases even closure announcements of various types of business and local/state “stay at home” orders from our Governor and county commission chairman. Our Governor and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary are on tv daily in one way or another providing guidance to the people of our state. CDC task force experts do the same daily at the federal level. These are truly unchartered territories for all of us young and old alike. We are all in this together navigating through times unknown.

 

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So much has happened already and so much is yet to come as this journey continues both personally and professionally. One thing helps more than any. Check up on friends and family – your colleagues. Even a quick phone call or text if you can’t Zoom. We are all in this together – better together. These are uncertain times but thankfully we have modern technology to help in at least somewhat weathering the storm that has come and what is undoubtedly ahead.

Sometime in the next few months when things are back to “normal” we will look back on the moments we are in now and be even so more thankful we followed the guidance of the CDC, our elected officials and all went above and beyond for the overall well being of our society.