Over the past 6 months, I have invested a significant amount of time and effort building my online Personal Learning Network.
In recent times; however, I have come to the gradual (and extremely reluctant) realisation that I need to find a balance in my online interactions.
Attribution: Image from the Daring Librarian.
Image: 'PLN_DimSum': http://www.flickr.com/photos/43666171@N07/4806404770
Too much time online
Twitter & blogs are valuable learning tools, but they can become extremely addictive. I don’t like to admit it, but I’ve been spending way too much time online, and spending too little time having a life.
And I’m not alone. I’m trying to find a balance; trying to put my ‘offline life’ (family, hobbies, and fitness) first. It is just not possible for me to follow 25+ blogs in my Google Reader, and spend 2-3 hours a night online – 7 days a week.
I already do more professional learning online in a week than most teachers do in a year, but there’s no point wearing myself out. I’m better off curling up with a book, or taking my new camera out for a spin.
So, I may not follow you on Twitter. and I may not read your blog.
Please, don’t be offended or put-off. It’s nothing personal. I’m human.
I can’t read, process, or bookmark EVERY interesting website, blog post, tweet that comes up on my screen, although that hasn’t stopped me trying in my early days.
Finding a balance
I may not be online as often as I used to, but I’ll still be around. I will continue to learn, share and connect – just at a more reasonable, steady pace.
I want to invest my time online talking and collaborating with the real people in my PLN. I don’t want to spend countless hours bookmarking interesting websites and reading too many blog posts. I’ve found friends all over the world, and I’ve been able to tweet-up with a few over lunch.
It is these quality relationships and conversations which underpin the power of my PLN, not its size and scope. It means I don’t have to follow everyone – I follow experts who can put me in touch with other experts - when I need help. This is what it means to be connected.
So, please, if you feel like a chat, give us a shout on Twitter (@mgraffin) or on Skype (mgraffin). I’m a real person too.