Blogging Habits Ramble

Photo Credit: Kalexanderson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Kalexanderson via Compfight cc

Zhenya’s blog post called ‘Blogging Habits (1)‘ has been floating around my head since the beginning of January when she added it to her blog ‘Wednesday Seminars’; I am not alone in having my interest piqued.  A number of bloggers left thoughtful and very personal comments on the post and quite a few decided to write about the topic on their own pages (Hana Tichá and Sandy Millin were among them).

The ramblings in my head have been about blogging habits as well as habits related to social media (mostly Twitter and Facebook).  I have a love-hate relationship with both blogging and using social media.  Let me explain.

Let’s first begin with the positive side.  I love the way blogging, reading other people’s blogs and using social media make me feel connected to educators around the world.  There are countless ways that these tools have affected me and my teaching but some examples of what I’ve gained are new perspectives on teaching methods, activities to try in class, applications and new technology, the reinforcement of or knocking down of my beliefs, the revision of strategies that I’d forgotten, confidence in my teaching and my blogging and a general sense of being a part of something bigger and greater.

Twitter is a huge part of the world of social media.  I use it to stay connected with other teachers, read up on the latest news and pass on what I consider worth reading.  I also think that the chats on twitter are one if its best features.  I’ve participated in two chats (#eltchat and #eltchinwag), both of which I highly recommend.  Lately I haven’t been able to participate as much but I hope to be able to join again sometime soon. The exchange of information and viewpoints on topics that are pertinent as well as interesting make these chats a source of motivation and inspiration, at least in my opinion.

Reading other people’s blogs and occasionally commenting on them is something else I really enjoy doing because I learn so much from them.  At times I’m astounded by how well other bloggers express themselves and how prolific they are.  It’s a humbling yet motivating experience.

The main purpose of my blog is my own personal growth as both a teacher and a writer.  It’s heartening to see people comment and follow this space but the primary aim when I started was to improve my writing.  Writing is probably my weakest skill.  It takes me a long time to organize what I want to say and how I want to say it.  I’m pretty certain that a lack of confidence in my writing is part of what makes this process so laborious so I figured that blogging would give me a chance to practice and help me build confidence.  So far so good; I feel like I’ve come quite a long way in just under a year of blogging and it’s giving me the encouragement I need to keep going.

So now that we’ve seen all the wonderful benefits of blogging and using social media, let’s move on to the dark side.  It pretty much boils down to the fact that the internet is extremely fast-paced as well as overwhelmingly full of information.

There are so many times that I start reading an article or a tweet which leads me to a blog which then has a link to a wonderful new application that I could definitely use in class.  Oops! Did somebody say class?  Wasn’t I supposed to be planning that class that I could use that new app for?  And now I have to rush through my prep because I got distracted with all of the above.

I never seem to have enough time for everything I’d like to do: reading blogs, writing meaningful comments, keeping up with my own blog, tweeting, joining chats… The list is endless and for that reason I sometimes avoid twitter and the blogosphere all together.  Why start reading or writing about something when I only really have time to scratch the surface?

I would love to have an endless amount of time to fully take advantage of blogging, tweeting and all the rest but life gets in the way.  When I’m not teaching or preparing classes, there are lots of other things I like to do:  spend time with my husband, read, go cycling, do yoga, watch TV or films and so on.  Quite often I have to choose between blogging and cycling; the latter usually wins.  There are times when I feel like I could invest more time and effort into the online world but I think finding a balance between work, hobbies and family life is really important.  I’m not always very good at keeping that balance but I try.

In sum, I truly enjoy blogging and tweeting because they allow me to access loads of information and ideas.  I also like the cozy, connected feeling they give me.  The downside is that I don’t have nearly enough time to really take advantage of all there is out there to read and write about, which leads to frustration and even feelings of guilt. At times it’s a tightrope walk from dizzying heights and the best thing I can do is try to keep my balance.

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About careymicaela

I've been teaching Young Learners and Very Young Learners for over ten years now. My degrees are in Psychology and Spanish. I also completed my TEFL certification in Madrid and the Ih Young Learners Course in Seville. I enjoy working with children and sharing those experiences with other teachers. In my free time (when that exists!) I like to read, listen to music, practice yoga and go on long cycling routes with my husband.
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8 Responses to Blogging Habits Ramble

  1. Adi Rajan says:

    Time is truly the greatest enemy of ongoing personal & professional development … Merely contemplating the many things I don’t have time for often makes me a wee bit despondent.

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  2. Right now there is a class that is waiting to be prepared while I stop to comment on your blog post here and say: me too. I’m glad you laid out the light and dark sides of our happy online world. I might use it as a debate topic for my debate class today. Something like: There should be a legal limit on how many hours people can spend on social networks per day. One of my new year’s resolutions was to take a week off every month. It didn’t go so well in January. My own blog is for reflection, questions, and sharing stuff I’ve done. I haven’t had time for much of that lately and, like you, I’d always choose weekend cycling across the country over sitting in front of a screen. But, of course, here I am in front of the screen with (counting…) twelve tabs open to blogs I’d like to read today. Because that is important to me too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. careymicaela says:

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Anne. 🙂
    Let me know how that debate goes. Maybe they’ll come up with some ideas on how to help us all.
    I like your resolution for taking a week off every month- a consistent breather from all this madness, but I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to keep it either. There’s just too much out there waiting to be read and commented on!
    Thanks again for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Zhenya says:

    Oh, time management (and specifically, setting priorities) – there is so much more to learn. I am relieved to read that I am not alone in finding (or not finding?) balance between various parts of my life: off-line and online, personal and professional, etc. Also, really enjoy reading your blog – thank you for your posts full of ideas and energy. Keep writing!

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  5. Sandy Millin says:

    Thanks for writing this Micaela. As you say, I think it’s very important to find a balance between life online and off, and if I’ve learnt nothing else over the last few years, it’s that no matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be able to read/watch everything I want to on the internet, so there’s no point even trying. Instead, I find time when I can, and when I can’t, I don’t feel guilty about it.
    For me, blogging is a pressure release, and I get frustrated when I can’t get things out of my system – it’s a form of relaxation. But I know that for others, more screen time is not really desired. I’m trying to help my eyes a bit by reducing it, and I’ve started putting ‘walk’ on my to do list each day to make sure I find time for it. Everything else can wait!
    When you do have time, the posts are worth reading. When you don’t, the rest of us will just have to wait!
    Sandy

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    • careymicaela says:

      Hi Sandy,
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it. I enjoy following your blog very much. You write about really interesting and useful topics in a way that’s very professional but personal at the same time.

      Blogging for me can be a bit of a chore because getting my thoughts across through writing is challenging for me. Having said that, it is also, as you say, a pressure release. Blog post topics come to me out of the blue and in some ways I need to just get it all out in order to stop thinking about it. Parts of that process are a bit of a struggle for me but I’ve come to love that moment of clicking on ‘Publish’.

      Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

      Like

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