Sharing and Collaborating have been hot topics for me as of late. How much I choose to put myself out there and what conversations I choose to join is often a personal decision based on how comfortable I am in any given situation or with a specific topic.
Having a little time to reflect this weekend, it occurred to me that I often choose to wait and observe, collecting my ideas for quite a while before participating in online interactions. My belief systems are in a perpetual state of upheaval these days, as I am constantly encountering information that challenges me. It seems easier to watch from the sidelines, to see where everyone else fits in, and to keep my evolving opinions to myself.
Then it occurred to me that while there is value in sitting back and watching, I am being lazy. By choosing to stand on the sidelines, I am also choosing not to play. I am not forcing myself to put my ideas out there. While I may be learning a lot about how the game is played, but I’m not getting any better at playing.
It’s a bit intimidating to think about joining in on the “Big Conversations” that other educational bloggers are participating in. Since jumping into my masters last summer, I have started following many different bloggers who have been participating in conversations for many years. There are communities established, relationships that exist. For me, this translates into enormous pressure to (feel like I) sound reasonably intelligent and educated about an issue before commenting/participating. This is definitely a self-imposed pressure, and at times it lets me off the hook for really engaging deeply with an idea or issue. For me, forming a real reply to something I’m interested in makes me interact with that idea in a whole new way. It can no longer stay on the periphery of things I am mulling over that I may choose to access at a later time, I have to really think about it and make it fit somehow.
While I doubt I will become a regular commenter anywhere until I have a little more time to spend with some of the ideas, I do need to force myself to make the effort on a more regular basis. As a first step to delurking, I’ve updated my links to reflect people whose conversations I’ve been paying close attention to. Be warned, the is just the very top of the rabbit hole – looking through these bloggers’ blogrolls is a great way to lose a day in front of your computer!