VirtualOT

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Australia
I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogging, Facebooking and Twittering: I'm starting to twitch!

Recently I have noticed that I feel lost when I cannot connect to my online world so I have decided to schedule a digital break every few weekends for a whole day! This is very challenging because the digital world is an integral part of my life and it crept in so quietly. I don't see any seam between my virtual and non-virtual worlds.

I noticed recently that when I see or hear something interesting I think to myself "I've got to put that on Facebook" and before that I thought, "I could blog about that" and before that I thought "I will email that" and before that I probably wrote letters. Somewhere along the line I also stopped phoning and started texting. Many people I know have also evolved to tweeting about their life, observations or new information on an hourly basis!

I, like many of my online friends, have a personal style that likes to share and connect with others, quickly and often. I feel very connected through the online world and believe that I have real relationships with the people online that I regularly converse with. I still view strangers online as strangers online, but I am happy to chat with them as I might in a Supermarket line. I am wary though if I meet someone online in a forum that is strange (e.g. I think that the weirdest people comment in YouTube)

So what about addiction to online activities? This is my biggest concern for people like me who like to connect online. We can find life in this world more controllable, and satisfying and neglect the real world realities like cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping and being with our real world family and friends. So, online/real world balance might become a new area for occupational therapists to work with people who have started to "twitch from too many tweets"!

6 comments:

joan said...

As soon as I finish this comment I'm turning everything off.

http://www.virtual-addiction.com/

one solution (well, uh, for a week):

http://www.greenthinkers.org/blog/2006/04/living_without_technology.html

Even Oprah weighs in:

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Take-Oprahs-What-Can-You-Live-Without-Challenge/3

Marc Freedman said...

My issue at this point in time is the opposite of yours and Joan's. I need to start turning on and using online tools to do the kind of connecting I like to do in person with OT's who are spread all over the world. Growing up in the pre-computer era (I'm 54), I quickly get overwhelmed with all the different possibilities of social media. I haven’t yet mastered text-based dialoguing; my natural reflex when wanting to engage someone is to pick up the phone. I believe many younger people have the opposite problem—not being comfortable using the phone when it is more efficient and effective to do so, but I do accept that social media opens up many possibilities that phone calls cannot. I’m wondering whether anyone worried they’re getting too wrapped up in social media might want to spend some old-fashioned time on the phone guiding me into getting more involved in social media. If so, please email me and we could set up a time to use night or evening cell phone minutes (or Skype): marcfreedman@nyc.rr.com
Thanks!

Anita Hamilton said...

Marc, I have found that I am getting some people phoning me for "instructions" and I am happy to do this to an extent but due to time constraints it is tricky. What we are doing to share our knowledge and passion is this year at the AOTA conference Karen Jacobs and I are running a 1 1/2 hour session on using online technologies on OT practice (on May 1st), and a large group of us from Aus, Canada, USA NZ and the UK are running pre-congress workshop at WFOT on May 3rd. So we are trying to take it to the people through conferences! Another possibility is that we take these workshops to the profession by invitation... feel free to organize it at your end and we can work out who is closest to you to come and run a workshop. Obviously we will need to have our costs covered. Cheers, Anita.
PS: I'm 43 and Joan is of a similar generation, we're just slightly younger than "boomers".

Marc Freedman said...

Hi Anita!
What a coincidence--just received the AOTA conference program today, so I looked for your workshop. Is it "Perspectives on Distance Learning"?
Marc

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