Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Academic Social Networking – Oxymoron?

First, I love the word oxymoron.  I love writing the word moron in a word that means to write something contradictory and the that moron and academic are oxymoronic.  The view of an academic sitting alone, absorbed in books may seem like an oxymoron to an active social media life but what better distraction from writing papers or grading them on a laptop then to drift over to a new tab and check with what our interesting friends are doing on facebook and instragram, posting pictures of Christmas trees made of broccoli, Frozen themed birthday parties or big sighs after viewing Hamilton or Little Women.  I am distracted all. the. time.  I am trying to stay current with the world through the changing platforms beyond facebook: instagram, twitter, snapchat, wechat, whatsapp, whatthef**k.


Backdrop: Judy Chicago painting in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

And now, I am learning there are more social networking sites on which I am behind.  I thought not clicking endless emails from academia.edu was cool, I was ignoring the fad–reminiscent of when I was a hold out for the answering machine, then the cell phone, then the iphone, then the tweet.  Now I want it all. I don’t want to miss the president’s rants or wars; I want to know when the mayor shoots the canon in my hometown and that it’s not a bomb.  Yes, I want to know what you think is the best date night dinner.  Now, I find that I can also know what you published, where, how many citations you have, what theory you’re reading, and what the most current thinking is on teaching and learning languages.  To play this new party trick I feel I must spend time updating my profiles on these many sites.  And so I have.  I am playing. Are you playing too? I turn to you, oh tech savvy social media friends, to learn how you navigate all of this cybersphere and still have time to cook dinner.

I forgot to add that I am really current now on my wordpress blogging…..

Here’s part of what an academic does at the end of the day when she’s too tired to plan her class further, write her next book, read her students’ papers and books, review that tenure file or article.







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