'Social Media Brain' goes public

Today I attended a session at the Learning Futures Festival called Survive and Thrive In A Social Media Workplace presented by Kathreen Riel (Digital Horizons) and Tami Saj (Royal Roads University), kathreenriel and tsaj respectively on twitter.

Their talk was primarily about getting colleagues and HEIs to engage with Social Media, here is the abstract:

Social media tools are reshaping the way we exchange tacit perceptions and understandings with one another. There is potential for social media to alleviate the propensity of expertise silos in academic institutions. How can we increase the integration and legitimacy of these tools in the higher education workplace? This presentation will describe three themes about the use of social media as a tool to cultivate academic communities of practice: the level of engagement of a wide spectrum of professionals, the influence of governance constructs on sustaining authentic online dialogue, and the emergence of features such as Twitter Lists to help enhance the framework of online communication and knowledge flow.

The talk turned into a really interesting discussion about the uses and barriers of social media. During which I posted and described my idea of the Social Media Brain. This was a term I used to describe my own desire to become more engaged with and make more effective use of social media, with the fear of become obsolete and “extinct” if I didn’t.

Having used and described the metaphorical neanderthal anthropological background behind the phrase Social Media Brain, the presenters an other participants started using it in conversation.

This has made me consider am I on to something with the whole process of e-evolution and survival of the fittest and secondly can you copyright a phrase? I only say the later, as the phrase is not commonly used and my original Blog Post comes pretty high on google.

Nevertheless, taking the phrase more seriously, this has made me consider what makes a good Social Media Brain. Well I’m no medic so I couldn’t tell you the neurological reasons, although it probably has something to do with White Matter, which apparently females have more of and that is what makes them better multi-taskers. The characteristics of the Social Media Brain may include:

  • Critical thinking: the ability to analysis and assess the quality of the large amount of information that is provided to you through social media.
  • Multi-tasking: Been able to cope with a multitude on environments, processes and stimulus
  • Extreme Multi-Sensory input. The ability to be reading one thing and listening to something else at the same time.
  • Adaptability. In the world of social media there is alot of silo hopping, therefore you need to be adaptable to new environments.
  • Uninhibited. It is noticeable that to excel withing Social Media Environments and gain a good reputation you have to be happy to place your life on public display.

I’m sure there are many more, if you would like to contribute please comment.

The future of this idea is to possibly investigate more, discover if it is really linked to evolution, as we already know younger generation are more comfortable in 21st century online environments. Is this why or can we learn Social Media skills?

However, the first future of this idea, remains to keep evolving my own Social Media Brain.


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