I have a few workshops coming up this fall where I will be speaking to summer camp directors, parks and recreation administrators, psychologists, and school superintendents about the value of social media and the new media revolution. Hopefully not overwhelming them in the process. There is a digital divide between those seasoned veterans and the young professionals just out of college. Many organizations are struggling with this the role of social media. At the American Psychological Association‘s 2008 Annual Convention psychologists discussed how sites like facebook and myspace fit within their practice. The APA has posted an article on their site, Nowhere to Hide: Internet Renders Boundaries Porous for Psychologists and Clients, which is a summary from the convention.
Keren Lehavot, MA, presented findings from an exploratory survey to determine the online activity of graduate students in psychology. On the one hand, she said, these students find social media provide “relatively effortless socializing, both personally and professionally.” But on the other hand, these sites raise the possibility of personal information leaking unintentionally into psychologists’ professional lives. “The Internet has redefined the process of self-disclosure,” she said.
When speaking to groups who are new to social technology, the challenge is often two fold. First, is fundamental usage hurdle: what is it and how does it work. The second challenge is often bigger, addressing their fears associated with using new media and social technology. Summer camp directors, school districts, recreation professionals are understandably cautious about any information about children going on the web. They are also, like many big corporations, very protective of their brand and fear what they cannot control. Having their staff posting photos on the web or users writing reviews on yelp is new territory they have not fully grasped.
While gathering my slides for my session I was listening to a great podcast by C.C. Chapman called Managing the Gray. In Ten Things in Ten Minutes, C. C. ran down a list of ten social media tools that everyone should try in order to get a quick introduction to the space. As most of what he does, it is brilliant primarily because it is simple.
This will be an exciting speaking season. Check back here for the updates and come say hi if our paths cross.
Photo Credit: ninjapoodles