Despite this time being difficult for many, one of the things I have loved to watch online is the explosion of new people who are now sharing more than ever. Both on LinkedIn and Twitter, my timeline now is abundant with different voices with content that is being shared and retweeted of not just fun and creative projects but lots of new ideas and content around work related topics. It’s as if people needed this thing to happen so that they could start to share their own idea, tips and recommendations for all topics – everything from working from home, learning and development, projects, learning Microsoft products and virtual meeting or webinar software.
I believe that many people simply work too hard in the sense that they’ve got every minute of the day booked, scheduled and organised. They take their ‘busyness’ as a sign of importance – and compete against each other for it.
“If you’re not busy, then you’re not important as me”.
In back to back meetings at work and then they come home to have a life overly scheduled with commitments of family and home or studies or any other sideline project, people are exhausted. Most of all, they don’t have time to think – or just be themselves.
There’s this crazy focus on the fact that if you’re not busy building a business, running at 100 miles an hour, that sitting down and doing nothing at all is a guilty pleasure?
I never prescribed to this philosophy. In fact, I hated it because it simply wasn’t me – it was playing havoc with my mental health and well being.
However, I think times have changed. I have a sneaking suspicion that once all this is well and truly over, people are going to have their own “mental shifts” realising that they don’t have to bust a gut working all hours.
One of the things I love to see now are new people in my social networks who are sharing their own ‘new’ experience of whatever it is that they’re doing or learning.
It’s similar to acting as a tour guide of your own town to friends who come from out of town. You’re seeing it all fresh again with their perspective.
One of BEST things of this period we are now going through is the PLETHORA of EXCELLENT resources, media, courses, podcasts, articles, aides about online work tools. In the past, there were only a handful of people sharing this stuff, now there’s a LOT MORE & far more innovative! pic.twitter.com/p0HfOD1I4A
— Helen Blunden #AlwaysBeLearning 🤔🧠🦉📚🥇 (@ActivateLearn) April 18, 2020
Over the weekend, I started doing a bit more exploring of expanding my personal learning network to include these new voices, these new ideas. What I love most is that they don’t have a business or product to sell – they’re simply sharing for the love of it, because it’s new, because they want a bit of conversation, maybe they just want to genuinely help.
Parts of my social networks now remind me of the early days of social where it was fun. It was conversational. It wasn’t about ‘profession reputation or brand building’ or focusing on specific audiences because that’s who your market was.
I’ve also noticed over time my old personal learning networks have changed, morphed, reduced, have moved onto other platforms like LinkedIn or simply disappeared. At times like these, I have to revisit my networks again and start to refine them to ensure that I’m seeing what I need to see on my feed. I want to see my networks as people and friends who have their work but most of all, I love to see their creative and personal selves. Their writing, their art, their projects, their family, their photos, their poetry.
If covid has taught me anything at this time is that I want to see my learning network as people – and be in awe of them.