My original pledge for Screen-Free Week was no television (not too hard because I rarely watch it), only use Facebook once a day and three tweets on Twitter. I was still going to read my daily blogs especially the Nerdy Book Club for my first post there ever on Thursday. I also agreed to fore go Twitterville Talk for this coming Saturday.
I have been able to stick to my original plans for television and Facebook. In lieu of tweeting about the blogs I read daily, I have been leaving comments. In my way of thinking, if people are taking the time to write thoughtful, helpful and informative blog posts, the least I can do is leave a comment or re-tweet about them on Twitter.
What has been very hard (as of yesterday I was over by twelve tweets) is not commenting on Twitter. In order to do Twitterville Talk each week I am scanning Twitter quite a bit all day long, seeking to find what I believe my readers will enjoy. The interaction between like-minded people has become a mainstay of my day. Twitter has enlarged my world, the love of reading and books, by leaps and bounds.
Without Twitter my students would not have had the opportunity to Skype with Tom Angleberger. I just happened to see a tweet about an open slot he had in his schedule. Without Twitter I would not have won Skype visits for my students with Ame Dyckman or Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Without Twitter I would have not been able to conduct a shared Mock Caldecott election with Katherine Sokolowski in Illinois.
Without Twitter I would not have been able to meet virtual friends for the first time at the Michigan Reading Association conference in Grand Rapids this past March. Without Twitter Xena would not have been in a Nerdbery video with Colby Sharp. Without Twitter I would not be going to Chicago to attend my first ALA conference this coming June since I began the love of my life in 1973, being a teacher librarian. Here I will see friends who I have met on Twitter, many for the first time. I still can't believe I am going to attend the awards banquet.
Do I speed too much time online? Yes, I do but I have built professional and personal relationships with authors, illustrators, teacher librarians, educators and people involved in publishing beyond what I ever thought possible. Whether it was meant to or not, Screen-Free Week has made my realize the value of online communities. Finding a balance between no screen time and too much is my next challenge.
Last year an innovative, beautiful book hello! hello! (Disney Hyperion Books) written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell was released into the world. It is a rare gem where finding the balance between technology and enjoying the world in real time, is portrayed with a minimum of words and his signature artwork. (My review is linked to the title.) Next month this title and Another Brother (which I adore) will be given half of the time dedicated to the #SharpSchu Book Club. Follow the link embedded in the club name to find out more about this wonderful hour shared by the reading community each and every month.
To honor Matthew Cordell's hello! hello! I will be giving four copies, one to each of the kindergarten classes in my building, later this week. It's important for our students to be aware of the world around them; to find the balance between technology and enjoying family and friends. As John Schumacher and Colby Sharp say at the end of their videos each week, Happy, happy reading.