digitalheroism2-respect-croppedIs Social Media the Mirror to YOUR Soul?

We talk a lot about respect on my team at EVSC.  It’s a big concept.  Most agree that you can have respect for people that you have never met or places that you have not experienced first-hand.  But, this respect often stems from your perceptions, or ideas that you have based on the world around you.  Perceptions are often formed based on the world around us, the opinions of others and how you may agree or disagree with them.   One common place you see the information that helps form your perceptions is through social media.

The leaders in the EVSC also discuss respect as it relates to other broad concepts such as value (the worth of something) and relevance, (usefulness to us as it relates to something else). I believe that we tend to value people and places based upon the relevance they have to us.

So, in a world where there is nearly instant feedback available via social media, has respect simply become a matter of perceptions that have been formed – rather than on facts?

I often wonder if the posts and comments we make on social media have more to say about ourselves than we realize.  Those that react to something they have read instantly, without investigation or thought, can only be reacting based on the perceived relevance of the subject matter to them.

As an example, let’s look at the recent conversations on social media regarding the proposed snow make up days.  There were many students and parents who commented within less than five minutes about how they would not participate in any of the options available to the EVSC because of one thing or another that was happening in their lives.  That is a reaction based on relevance.

From the EVSC’s perspective, the decision that would be made would need to be based on what will help students the most educationally – not just to comply with the law.  That is EVSC’s relevance to the subject matter.

So, could we indeed say that often times postings and comments on social media are only a reflection of the relevance of the subject matter to the individual?

Should writing with respect for the subject matter – or the person behind the subject matter be factored in?  Is that important?

What do you think?

Dr. David B. Smith was named Superintendent of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation on June 20, 2011, and officially began his tenure July 1, 2011. Smith has served in the EVSC for the previous 32 years in a variety of roles from instrumental music teacher for 19 years, to principal, deputy superintendent, director of principal support, and deputy chief of staff, until his most recent position prior to the superintendency — as assistant superintendent for business and human resources.  Among his honors and recognitions related to teaching, he was the Evansville Courier & Press/University of Evansville 1992 High School Teacher of the Year and was nominated several other times for the award for teaching, as well as for administration.   Also, while instrumental music teacher at Reitz, he grew the instrumental program to more than 350 students, reaching the pinnacle as state finalists 12 times. He holds the degree of Doctor of Education in Leadership from Oakland City University, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Evansville. He also has a degree in Secondary Administration and Supervision as well as an Education Specialist degree from Indiana State University.  Most recently, Smith received his Master of Business Operational Excellence degree and Lean Six Sigma black belt designation in December 2011 from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business.

Challenge

Tell us what you think! Are postings and comments on social media only a reflection of the relevance of the subject to the individual? Should we consider respect for subject matter or the person behind the subject matter when we post? Is this important?

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