Quite an open topic for this week's Thing, so I'm going to blog about something that's been annoying me for the last couple of days. I'll try to keep the rantiness to a minimum.
Watching the news on television over the last few days has been a depressing experience. For those readers who aren't in the UK, we've now had 4 nights of rioting, looting and vandalism in London and several other major cities. Watching the news it is very easy to feel that everyone in the country has gone completely mad.
Most of the news reports I've seen have mentioned something along the lines of "...the riots, often being organised through social networks..." Gah! Yes, some of these idiots might be planning their next move using BlackBerry Messenger or Facebook or whatever. But what I'm seeing in my Twitter feed are messages of support for those living in the riot spots, updates on where is safe/dodgy at the moment, #riotcleanup and #operationcupoftea trending both UK and worldwide, evacuation operations for the disabled and elderly being organised...I could go on. When I log onto Facebook I see an invitation to the Operation Cup of Tea event which currently has over 200,000 people attending. 99% of us are decent people! Some people are always going to do stupid, mindless things, but this would happen with or without social media. Meanwhile, many people are using social media to do good deeds, or just to chat and catch up with friends, which is a jolly fine thing to do in my opinion.
Bringing this post vaguely back to CPD23, I think the last few days have proved that the advantages and disadvantages of social media are entirely dependent on how you use it, as is whether or not you create a sense of community. Personally I've found my Twitter network is a really strong community, while LinkedIn for example is much less so - mainly because I haven't really got into it yet. As for whether I will be continuing to use social media in some form or other for professional development, the answer to that is a resounding yes!
Keep yourselves safe, keep doing good and keep being totally awesome.