Monday, November 26, 2007

Social networking can make you smile…

Lately in my district and in my graduate class we’ve been looking and talking about social networking. I can’t think of social networking as only MySpace and Facebook. I consider video conferencing a viable social networking experience. My students have benefited from 2 video conferences with published authors so far this year. But video conferencing is so much more than that, it is social networking at its finest. Besides, video conferencing with friends can make you smile more than anything posted on YouTube! On the day after Thanksgiving I was signed on to iChat on my Mac, hoping to start up an Instant Messenging chat session with my sister-in-law. PC users often Instant Message, Mac users videoconference! At the same time I was signing on to iChat, on the big island of Hawaii my friend Barbara (one of the reason’s I’m a librarian… she was my children’s very techy elementary school librarian back in the early 90's) was signing onto her Mac iChat. She invited me into a video chat. We talked for over an hour about our families, her computer upgrade, and how long it has been since we have seen each other… it has been 10 years since we visited her when she lived on Oahu. It has been even longer since we all lived in the same area, yet, because of email, cell phones, and video conferencing; we have kept in touch and have remained friends. Social networking through technology is the difference that is keeping us connected with people we have not seen for a long time. I have seen this happen over and over again. Because of the Internet and blogging, I am back in touch with friends who are missionaries in Germany. I did a simple Google search for my friend Shelly and I found her on the very first hit. The reason I found her so easily was because of her blog! We now email each other and I am sure we will get in tough by cell phone when they get back to the states later this month. There are some people who touch your life and you don’t want to let them go. Thanks to Social Networking over the Internet, I don’t have to!

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hi Janice,
"Stories from the field" such as yours are the best proof of the value of social networking tools. And, yes, videoconferencing seems to have fallen into disuse due to the cost for large-scale installations. Desk top web conferencing and tools such as Skype remind us of the value of the visual.
SG