What adds Value to your life?
This remarkably simple question to write, has been rolling around in my head for a week now. As I do things, I come back to this question – it is almost my “What would _____ do?” and a devil on my shoulder as well – consider the devil or angelic tone you can apply as you read those words aloud (and the ones that silently follow) – What adds Value to your life? (why are you playing that Game right now when others are out saving the planet?)
Recently I re-read a Physedagogy blog post written by Adam Howell from April 2019. In it, he very carefully explains why he is moving off Twitter and Social Media in general to become an Unplugged Educator. The blog post is moving and below it, the comments and replies (from Adam) are beautiful and uplifting. Adam doesn’t see that SM is adding Value to his life at this stage. Once it did. There were amazing professional contacts, conversations, opportunities and learning. But years down the track, SM wasn’t providing this experience, it didn’t add value, but was subtracting from other avenues that did offer him Joy as a teacher and as a person.
Years ago, Jarrod Robinson gave me a copy of “BOUNDARIES: WHEN TO SAY YES, HOW TO SAY NO TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE“. He could see that the journey with SM was about to take its toll and was invested in assisting me to learn to say No and when to push back and be a much more aware person. I am grateful that he was thinking of my wellbeing.
Like Adam, I am an introvert. I need my own company and time to process. I work in a noisy space and live in a busy office. I need quiet and time to myself to function wholly. I find SM a noisy space. I have made the decision to turn off Facebook during school term times and to turn twitter off in the holidays. If someone asks me for something, I will ask them to contact me with a specific request – they usually don’t, and so this saves me time. I am wary of people who ask me to share or retweet or engage as if I don’t know them, I am not confident in their motives – like a colleague asking me out for coffee after ignoring me for a year – Sure, I am thinking, but what do you really want? I prioritize being athletic and create time to ride, run and swim as I know they add value to my life, but it always is a balance of how to spend time to add value to my life being acutely aware that my choices may take value from others too, particularly my family.
SM is noisy. There is a lot more retweeting and sharing of silly games that have nothing to do with thinking and learning and are more about the doing. There is less original content. I would like to be braver and engage with the PE haters or those who have had teachers who didn’t embrace the ‘Do no harm’ mentality. But I am not always sure what to say or how to say it in so few words. Is it adding Value?
Is Twitter adding Value? Probably not at this stage, but I love working with the mentors and those I aspire to learn from and if I can stay in the shadows and be involved in learning with them and from them then I think it will be valuable. I just need to work out how to keep to that algorithm.