My Fading EduSocialMedia Presence

September was one of the quietest months on my blog in over three years. There are a number of reasons for this including a growing feeling of disconnect between my online learning and the urgency of the rest of my life. I've become a bit like the country person trying to cross the busy street in the city for the first time, waiting for the comfortable break in the traffic that never comes while all of the experienced pedestrians just cross with ease at their first opportunity. And every hesitation means that someone else jumps into the gap, just as John Pearce recently described after his extended blogging hiatus.

I know that maintaining an active online presence is not an extra for me, but my family and some minor health issues have sapped the urge to regularly post here, or to participate in twitter, or to check anything of interest in greater detail. There is so much good stuff to read, view, interact with and so many talented educators doing their thing that it is easier sometimes to back out and become the lurker, instead of the active participant. Add in the fact that I have to re-apply for my position at my school in the next couple of weeks and it seems that local issues need to be prioritised so that my life can have some semblance of balance.

My wife and I took the kids on a three day holiday down to the South-East of our state here earlier in the week, going to a number of places and doing all manner of kid friendly activities. Although I (still feel) felt exhausted from the driving, the dodgy motel rooms and the refereeing of back seat sibling disputes, the mental break from my all consuming profession was quite welcome.

I could have been at ACEC08 - as it seems anybody who is somebody in the Aussie edtech field was there - but seeing I'm feeling more and more like a nobody these days, the days with the kids and Joanne seem very well spent. But I am hoping that I can breathe some life into my blog, otherwise the "Open Educator" tagline might be misleading.


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11 thoughts on “My Fading EduSocialMedia Presence

  1. John Pearce

    Hi Graham,
    I actually think that in this case most others in the edusocial media glitterati are envious and applaud your rationale for taking a holiday. More than one person on Twitter has admitted trepidation about returning to work slightly less prepared or refreshed than they would otherwise have wished. At least the dodgey motel is more likely to give you an entree to the staffroom conversation than most tweets that go by on a daily basis.

    BTW I’m sure that you realise that the term open educator can be read in multiple ways mate. I like the fact that you are so open in the sense that you are more than willing to share so broadly the wider aspects of your personal life. More power to you for doing that.

  2. TFT

    Graham, well done for taking the time that you need, and for being honest as to why.

    Fear not, your readers will wait. We won’t give up on you, or your vision. I too have had some personal/family issues lately and havnt been blogging as much lately. I have had to face ehat is probably a parents greatest fear, and luckily we got through it, but it did take its toll.

    Two of my “partners in crime” are also going through stuff, and this is affecting their blogging too. We need to rememebr that in Australia we are in the busiest part of our year, approaching Term 4 (for those states that have 4 tearms). This is usually the business end of the year and we all get close to being burnt out.

    All I can say is take the time that is needed Graham, you’ll be better for it, and so will your writing, and your ability to plan and have visions for the future.

    All the best.


  3. garyb

    Greetings Graham

    spring is the season of appropriate to be re-evaluating your activities.

    the silence of the majority is perhaps the hardest aspect of blogging …
    presuming (for your self correctly!!) that there is in fact an interested audience

    effective use of your time is a constant persuit…

    people find time for their priorities
    busy people are the most desired members of any team

    often the feeling of disconnect si when the priorities and the demands do not match…at school something usually ‘gives’..

    at be best attended to..( if not avoided/prevented/ ‘fixed’ quickly)

    all the best for term4

    best regards

  4. Chris Harbeck

    Graham on of the hardest things to do is balance life and online life. It is important to feel comfortable doing what is necessary for overall health and sanity. I struggle daily with the need to keep an online presence and enjoying my family. My family wins everytime.

    So if you post less you are finding a new balance for yourself. Amy post you write is worth reading. Even if we have to wait a little longer.

    Stay healthy and continue to enjoy life, and blogging.

    Chris (Your next trip should be to Canada!!)

  5. Graham Wegner

    Thank you all for your kind supportive words. My post certainly wasn’t intended as a plea for sympathy – more an admission that I can’t cover even a fraction of the ground I’d like to and still have a family and personal life. This online presence goes well beyond the scale of being part of my work life – I think it would be more accurately described as my learning life.

  6. Robert Barden

    Graham, as someone who took a rare break from everything and left town during these holidays myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling.

    Personally, I wasn’t panicking about my blog (although I attend to mine far less often than you do, so there’s not much there to worry about), but rather on the pile of blog posts increasing on the feed reader. Most will fall by the “Mark All as Read” wayside, which makes me wonder what I’m missing out on. Then again, how did I consume all this information before RSS?

    I also considered ACEC at one stage, but gave it a miss, only to find a much more fulfilling alternative came my way. Also, while it may make us feel like we’re returning to work somewhat under-prepared, we also need to make sure we maintain a balance in order to continue to do the best for our students as healthy, re-energised teachers. I hope you’ve enjoyed the break and good luck for the final term!

  7. Aaron

    I too have been silent for a very long time now. Life has happened. Lots of it. I’ve found myself unable, and actually uninspired to blog. Do I still consider myself a “teacher in development?” Sure, though I sadly seem to lack the spark to reflect on how, where, and why – and then share it with whoever would care to read still.

    But you’re right: balance is really important. Sometimes you need to step back from what you normally do to capture and live what that word really means…to rediscover it.

    My silent period has been about that: Trying to balance myself out again, and launch out where launching was badly needed, and cut out the things that no longer mattered. Feels pretty good – and I’m still at it. Still a “teacher in development” that has started blogging again…at least for now.

  8. Graham Wegner

    @Robert. Sorry that I took so long to acknowledge your comment. You’re right, the break was good and it all very quickly disappears in the rear view mirror.
    @Aaron. It’s good to see that you are still kicking around – your blogging endeavours have been around the length of time as mine and although my blogging has become less frequent, it’s something I just can’t give up. Balance is really hard to achieve because the online world can absorb copious amounts of personal time if one is not careful – but we ignore the power of social media and its influence on our students at our own peril. I must admit that blogging has helped to quell the “frustrated author” that lies within me – maybe I have less to say and need to get away from feeling that I have to say something.
    @John Larkin. I’m sure that this blogging thing will eventually evolve into something else – but I’m not ready to switch to livecasting!

  9. nashworld

    That is pretty much exactly what I felt like to about a month at the start of this school year. Most of October for me was meltdown. Actually- with a 21-month-old and another little girl due in December, things have been… and will certainly be… crazy. Did I mention grad school? Yeah.

    I hear you. Take the time out. “Refresh” your page a time or two.



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