It's a bit cliche to say, "we're preaching to the choir"... but sometimes it feels like we are.
The hallelujahs are coming in eight-part harmony and there doesn't seem to be anything new being generated.
We just keep singing our favorite song and there's nothing wrong with that if we're having fun, but we need to be clear about what we're doing.
"Hi, I'm Starr and I was a Twitter Chat addict (aka learning addict), but I may be ready to move on some."
There was a time that I could participate in three to five Twitter chats a day... every day. I moderate two and participate actively in at least one other.
To the unseasoned reader, that may sound like a lot, and maybe to others not so much, but I was hungry for connection and learning and Twitter did/does the trick.
What I have realized over the last few years though is that connotation matters and there seems to be a lot of recycled conversations. And even though this post was originally written years ago and I'm not nearly as involved as I was when I wrote this, I still feel the same way when I connect from time to time and so much has happened since then, but the conversations haven't necessarily changed.
Is it possible that Twitter chats are running out of new material?
There are many topics in education worth discussing with the brilliant minds excited by the "Twitterverse", but it doesn't seem that we have moved on to the new ones yet.
We talk a lot about the importance of being connected (of course everyone involved in the conversation already is) and many topics from authentic learning, choice, and promoting positive risk-taking behaviors in learning. These are all important to talk about, but after being on the circuit for a while, I'm not getting as much from it. I find myself deferring Twitter time to relaxing time with my family. (And perhaps this is natural too)
Honestly, I like going on the Twitter chats now, to see my friends and hang out - and share ideas, but I feel less of an urgency to do it. There was a time it was a real need and now it feels like a luxury.
As time moves forward, I'm more judicious about how I spend my time. More people are blogging and sharing their posts on Twitter (I'm guilty of this myself) and not really spending time talking as much or engaging in meaningful dialogue.
I'll never give up on Twitter, but I'm scaling back a little. Keeping up with the chats I moderate as well as others that fit into my schedule, but not rescheduling like I used to to make them all work.
The break has worked out well for me. When I do go onto the chats, I'm more focused, engaged, and participating in an authentic way. I've given up my second blog and have really started to zero in on what's in front of me. What has become evident is that Twitter was filling a void that my career and personal life couldn't for a short time and now I have found what I need within and no longer need the outlet online.
Twitter will always be a go-to place for resources and networking and I will continue to funnel my efforts into helping others find what I have been fortunate enough to experience on it. But it is all with a balance and I've been fortunate enough to find that too.
Perhaps this is cyclical like all things and right now I'm just on a downswing. Where are you?
*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in July 2016.