Home » Being the student & the teacher – Participation in Social Media.

Being the student & the teacher – Participation in Social Media.

Being involved in Social Media is to be a perpetual student who is also teaching the class.

I stumbled across an old proverb today: “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.” I’ve come to realize that never has this been more evident than in the world of Social Media. We now find ourselves participating in one big, continuous learning environment, with access to the most brilliant minds in whatever field you happen to be in. It’s like living inside the best convention/event/conference that you’ve ever seen, 24/7/365. It’s never been easier to learn from others, and to have others learn from you.

Social Media is an incredible tool for exchanging information. It allows you to connect with others who operate from a similar mindset to your own, but a big part of the power is that it allows you to connect with those whose brains use a completely different operating manual. This is often where the most inspirational ideas come from. I may not like the same music or foods as you, but that has nothing to do with your ability to generate an idea that blows my mind. Connecting with people of all different mindsets allows you to grab the best of all perspectives, and use it to form a completely new approach that you would never have been able to obtain before.

But lets also think about your ability to teach others using Social Media. Just because you don’t have 10,000 followers doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of providing valuable information to others. Think about it in a simple example like this: the internet is a huge place, with millions and millions of new pieces of content added daily. There’s no way that one person, or even a group of people, can find all the gold that exists. Everyone has to do their part to find the hidden nuggets of awesome that can be shared with the community. If you find even one piece of gold that may have been missed otherwise, then you’ve done your part. Share the wealth of knowledge that you find, and you’ve become both the teacher and the student.

Even the ‘learned masters’ in the Social Media world are constantly searching out new material and information from the community. The reason they are so successful in these new channels is not because they are the single brilliant mind that everyone yearns to become, but because they are constantly learning from others. What works, what doesn’t work. They take the info, digest it, process it, tweak it, apply it, and test it. Repeat. This is how the smart get smarter. No one person has all the answers, but when we all come together, the collective does.

This is where the learning power of Social Media lies. The ability to create, the ability to discover, and the ability to share. Only by doing all three are you able to maximize your learning through these communities. As a result, we all become better. We all become more knowledgeable, more effective, and more successful.