What makes you use social media?

November 19, 2014 | Blog-Admin1 | Learning Elsewhere |


Rating: 4.3 out of 5

My personal social media storyUntil recently, I was reluctant to invest time into the use of social media. This is the story of how and why I became an active user of social media content. What can we learn from it for the use of social media in our work?

Corinne Sprecher, Agridea.

My personal social media story

I had never sent a tweet. I had never uploaded a video on YouTube. My Facebook profile had fallen into a deep slumber. At the same time, I was never a social media refusenik. I am curious, I do try things out, but actually, I have never really been drawn into it.

What would you actually use social media for? If you had asked me this a year or two ago, I would have most probably given you an answer like: “No idea. And anyway, my time is too precious to spend it on social media.” And then, something happened, and this is the story I would like to tell you.

I have become a mother. And for the past months I have been observing myself, reading blogs and joining Facebook groups. I am still not extensively using social media and I am not (yet) actively contributing, but I have become a committed reader to certain blogs and discussion groups.


My personal social media story_2.jpg

by Corinne Sprecher

What made the difference? – Certainly not time availability!

What has triggered this development? As a working mom I do certainly not have more time available than before, in contrary! Thus, time is not the decisive factor. Reflecting about my personal use of social media, I have identified three main triggers:

It’s about an issue I strongly feel and care about.  This is about passion and commitment. I very much care about the way we live as a family, the way we communicate and the way my child is raised. I reflect my own behaviour and am reaching out to learn from others. At the core of my social media use stands thus an issue that is of high relevance to me, one that touches my feelings and believes.

I have a concrete application. My child faces me every day with challenges. I do have constantly opportunities to act and learn. Thus I can transfer what I read into practice. I do not only learn about experiences of others, but I have the chances to complement them with my very own experiences.

I had the wish to hear about the experience of like-minded people and these were not available in my personal environment. Internet allowed me to reach out into the world and find others who share my values and my questions. This gave me the opportunity to try out things that are different to what I have experienced as a child and to what I observe mostly around me in the ‘non-virtual’ world.

So can this be of any help for work, too?

Having this very positive social media experience, I have been wondering, how this could be transferred to my working life. I thus have been asking myself:

  1. What are actually the issues in my work I feel compassionate about?
  2. What tasks confront me with new challenges and give me the opportunity to try out new things?
  3. Where and how can I find sources for inspiration, knowledge and experiences that actually match my issues, my challenges and my values? There is so much information out there in the web, how to find the precious bits?

I have not fully found the answers for me yet. Particularly the last question I do find challenging. However, my personal answers to the questions 1 and 2 give me orientation in dealing with the overwhelming number of tweets, blogs or Facebook entries out there in the virtual world.

Tell me your personal social media story!

What is your personal experience in using social media? Have you found resources that inspire you for your work? Let’s share them here! Have you developed you own good practice to make use of social media? I am eager to learn from you!

Further Reading


Comments to“What makes you use social media?”

  1. Nadia von Holzen says:

    Dear Corinne,
    Nice post, thanks :-))
    In my experience social media is more than valuable; especially for us working in the field of networked learning. Through social media I expand my network and reach out to people I never would have met. I found inspiration and real treasures (in form of handy guidelines, inspiring bloggers, great questions, drawings I love etc.)
    The trick: following the right people. The challenge: find the right people.
    My story is a story of exploring, trail and error. I follow some people on Twitter and my blog reader (I use Feedly) through them and their links I found other people, when my list got too long I kick some out… I learnt to login with intention. I unplug regularly. And I learnt that social media is give and take, or seek and share as Harold Jarche is framing it. “The journey to personal knowledge mastery is finding the right balance between seeking, sense-making, and sharing”
    Best, Nadia

  2. Corinne Sprecher says:

    Dear Nadia,
    Nice to hear your story! Yes, it is really about finding the right people. I have also followed your advice in this. :)
    I really like the seek-sense-share model of Harold Jarche! Thanks for sharing! I am only experimenting with the sharing, but am now making the experience, that it gives a great new dimension to the use of social media. It is like a shift on a new level! The sharing can actually create relationships and a sense of belonging even in virtual community, I would have not thought possible. The social media world is becoming less anonymous once we start contributing in our networks.
    However, it is also about daring to contribute. About being couragous enought to think one’s own experience and knowledge actually matters. Who would actually be interested in this??! I do find this rather challenging!
    Just yesterday I watched one of Brené Brown’s TED talks about vulnerability and shame. She keeps inspiring me about daring to go out into the arena even if we may fail greatly. :) You know her?
    All the best, Corinne


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