Welcome to Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG) — Promoting Children’s Reading and Literacy
Children’s Literacy Headline: Reading to a child during during the preschool years of ages 3 – 5 builds skills that are key to literacy, including phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, and concepts about print conventions. Child development experts recommend that parents show children that they make time to read for fun.
So far on the BRAG tour, we’ve presented a seemingly disconnected menu of topics — marketing on Facebook, creating digital photo collage, and children’s literacy resources. If BRAG is all about promoting children’s reading and literacy, what’s the common link? Bloggers communicate!
What a great opportunity it’s been connecting with bloggers around the world . . . sharing a commitment to children through our writing!
From South Africa, author Judy Croome has contributed an original article about why Twitter is her favorite place social media sharing site. Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy has other short stories and poems published in journals and anthologies. Her independently published novel, “Dancing in the Shadows of Love,” is available from Amazon.com and Loot.co.za.
I love the freedom social media gives me. I love the way I can connect with people who, in the pre-social media world, I would never have met. I love reaching out with my words and ideas and knowing that someone “out there” may read them.
I cautiously started with blogging. Then I progressed to Facebook. Soon Twitter followed, and then came LinkedIn, Google+, My Space, StumbleUpon, Digg, FlickR and Tumblr.
These days, I can’t open my inbox without an invitation to another social media site popping up.
Twitter is by far my favorite social media site: it’s quick, it’s snappy, it’s informative and it’s fun! I feel as if I’m a member of a cosy club. But it’s dangerously addictive. As I interact more and more with people across the globe, a disturbing feature has crept in: I’m spending most of my free time interacting with people through a computer.
Can you be addicted to social media?
In her Brainblogger article No Man’s Land, Veronica Pamoukaghlian, MA, says that although social media addiction is not yet included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the emergence of this new type of addiction is sweeping the world from Asia to America.
Social Media Strategist, Jeff Bullas, provides some interesting statistics on social media addictions (and you can take a poll to see where on the scale you fall!).
The top five symptoms of social media addiction are:
- You spend more than four hours a day on-line: This includes the time you spend using your mobile phone. Do you check your social media updates on your mobile first thing in the morning and last thing at night?
- Your life-style has become reclusive and sedentary: Do you have more on-line friends than real friends?
- You access social media while you’re doing other tasks: Do you walk and check your Facebook updates? Do you eat and tweet? Do you struggle to finish ordinary tasks because you’re constantly distracted by the next tweet, status or blog comment?
- You easily lose track of the time you spend on-line: How often do you intend to spend only “a few minutes” on-line, only to find when you switch off, you’ve lost hours?
- You feel anxious when unable to connect on-line: Is the first thing you pack when going on vacation your iPhone or Blackberry? Do you panic when you realise you’re out and about and you’ve forgotten your phone at home?
If, like me, you display any or all of these symptoms, chances are, you’re addicted (or well on the way to a social media addiction!).
So, what’s a girl to do? Stand up and say, “Hello. My name is Judy. I am a Tweetaholic?”
As I said to my husband when he threatened to throw my Blackberry in the bin, it’s simply too much to ask me to go cold turkey and give up all my social media at once. Besides, I whined, a social media presence is essential for anyone involved in the writing profession!
But, to save my precious Blackberry, I decided that I couldn’t do it all, hear it all, participate in it all. After all, writing is the most important part of being a writer.
Now, there’s no on-line time for me until I’ve met my writing goals for the day. I still find time to go onto my social media, but now that time is limited to what’s left over from the day after all other tasks are completed.
The interesting thing is, by limiting my on-line time, when I do find myself revisiting my old love Twitter, there’s less guilt and more fun. And isn’t that the best of both worlds?
Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy has other short stories and poems published in journals and anthologies.
Please join Judy on Twitter.