I am really interested in learning how other busy teachers and administrators balance social media time with all the other demands of school and family? Lately, I feel as though I am spending too much time online. I know there is no single best answer. I'm just looking for a few good strategies...
I intertwine my social media use with my work and have coaxed my wife into similar habits. That way, we share a common interest but still have time together away from it. I don't think there's a stock answer to this question. I think its harder when someone compartmentalizes their life and the contents of one compartment begins spilling over into others. I have take great pains to make my professional and personal life seamless so I never feel like one is pushing out the other.
Regarding Twitter, one thing I have learned is not to follow everyone who follows you. If that is something you would like to do, you could use a tool like Tweetdeck and lets you filter the people you "really" want to follow. This saves me a ton of time. As for forums, I just stick to about 3 main forums and if I hav extra time, I visit others.
I feel you on this one. It's tough to walk away from the computer or the handheld device sometimes, especially when there's so much great information and learning being shared all the time. Personally, I try to balance it out by limiting my online exposure to one to two hours a day, after big errands and projects have been taken care of. I'll sign on quickly in after checking my emails in the early morning and then again when I have some down-time at night. I'll rotate the social networks I visit, and then I'll pick a slow day in the week to really sit down, sift through my RSS feeds, and write some posts. Using an iTouch with wi-fi has helped me also to keep up with my Twitter PLN on a daily basis. When I'm hanging out at home, usually after breakfast or after dinner, I'll spend a half hour and go through Tweetdeck.
I appreciate the question, Chuck, and have been asking it myself as of late. I started a conversation here as well as on Classroom 2.0 about the topic and received some great, practical advice from these communities. Thought you might find something helpful in them, too!
i find the best time for me is to sit down with my laptop at night when watching tv and really look through the stuff that i want to. i usually end up looking far more at that than whatever is on tv. however most of my online time comes down to tweetdeck. dont have a lot of extra time to come to here or other sites, so i go to twitter which i find gives me the most bang for my buck.