“Someone new is following me” I said aloud to my husband as I noted the update on my Twitter app. “What?!” he responded, looking around alarmed.
I giggled in that moment before explaining what I meant, but then thought back on it as I read the article this week, 7 Things You Should Know About Twitter, that began with a note about Edward. I related to this depiction of uncertainty that ended with appreciation, for I too am finding myself wavering between these two feelings. Depending on the network that you find yourself among, you can leave enlightened and educated in lines limited to 140 characters or less. Conversations can take place across miles and cultures, ones that may never occur in a normal setting. And yet there is some scariness that I associate with being “followed” by people that I don’t know and, if nothing else, realizing that whatever I tweet is out there for everyone to see.
I also consider another article we read this week, Tweeting in Class, and think back to the conversations that we had in our own classroom. The conversation was open and lively, but I wonder if any of us had more to say? If not in that instance, have you in others? Perhaps the use of this tool is not one that we feel comfortable with in idle chatter, but what if it was a tool used to participate in discussion? A discussion in an undergrad classroom that held 50 students or perhaps even more? How often as an undergrad did you not raise your hand or express your opinion simply because time would not allow for us to all do so? Or was it even due to the feeling of uncertainty in your question or statement and how it may or may not be received? But is it for this reason that some of us would still shy away from the use of this tool…..
I can’t say I’m totally convinced as to where I stand when it comes to the world of Twitter. What I will say however is that there are possibilities that it may hold in opening up conversations that my not otherwise take place. And in education, that is definately saying something. Who knows where the next 140 character ah-ha may lead us?