Ditching The “E” Word

Thank you Shakko for making this image available on Wikimedia Commons.

Thank you Shakko for making this image available on Wikimedia Commons.

Today begins Week 2 of a course I am co- teaching called Introduction to Social Media Communications. (If you are so inclined, please feel free to visit our course blog, Marylhurst 2.0)

“Teaching” the course is a complete overstatement really — my colleague Art and I have structured the course around a set of questions (“points of inquiry,” we call them), a few resources (very few relative to the number of resources on social media that are available), and a heck of a lot of class discussion as neither of us is an expert by any means (though Art really does know a lot about privacy settings on Facebook, so I feel totally comfortable calling him the “E” word in that regard, even though he hates it when I call him that).

Then again, what is an expert, especially when it comes to social media?  ALL 24 of us within the course are novices, or experts, or whatever is inbetween the N and the E — it doesn’t matter, as no such title or continuum even applies in the land of social media. Anyone who claims to be an expert in social media is trying to sell you something – beware the Snake Oil!

What does matter is that we are learning, and that we are learning together — and the one lesson that has become super duper clear to me this week is that where social media is concerned, especially as I try to apply it to my own profession (higher education), I do not want to be an expert, an advanced user, or a Social Media in Higher Education Queen (though what a lovely title that would be, and how nice that crown would look sitting atop my head, especially if I had a lovely set of earrings and maybe a necklace to match!)

No, what is clear is that I want to be a learner. I think I will stick to the “L” word thank you very much – it fits more comfortably, and it does not balance itself so precariously upon my golden locks (ok ok – my gray locks).

Being a learner will be much more effective than being an expert. Or a Queen, for that matter. But this likely applies to all sorts of things and not just social media, dontcha ‘spose?

In the meantime, I suspect I can find another time and place for wearing that crown. Halloween is coming soon, after all!

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