Tag Archives: social networking

Communicating the Social Networking Way

I’ve jumped into the sea of social networking. It didn’t take much effort on the part of Pat Simpson, Marketing/Communications Director at the National Center to entice me into the water. What can I say, new and cutting edge things excite me. I started with blogging which I enjoy and plan to make more time to do. A few months ago I created a Facebook page. This mortified my kids (my oldest says he’ll be my friend when he leaves for college.) I will admit, FB is addicting, so much so the application is downloaded on my cell phone! I watched as my friend list to grew…..high school classmates, college roommates, sorority sisters, friends from church, even adult cousins I haven’t spoken with in years! How cool is that! Recently I’ve added Twitter to my networking tools and boy, do I feel like I’m on the frontage road watching a fast and scary freeway. There is still so much I have to learn.

Through all of this, some questions keep swirling in my mind.
• When does social networking really pay off?
• How can we embrace this new technology here at Parents as Teachers?
• Should anybody really care what my “status” says?
• Did I really want to know this much about acquaintances?
• Are we turning into a society that communicates in 120 characters or less?
• Is “tweeting” considered real communication?
• What’s the line between personal and professional on these sites?
• Can connecting (or reconnecting for that matter) on social networking sites actually deepen relationships?
• How much is too much?

Despite these questions, I’m hooked! In just a few short months, I’ve seen the power of the network. My most recent example happened last weekend. My son wanted to go purchase a particular Civil War DVD. I told him to hold off while I went on FB. I knew that one of my friends is a Civil War buff and he talked about this video in a post some time ago. I logged on and asked if we could borrow it. He responded he wasn’t home at the time (ah ha, another mobile FB user) but to stop by in an hour. Within a total of 90 minutes, we were home watching the DVD. That’s an example of social networking.

What are your success stories? What’s got you thinking? Have you jumped in the water yet?

Become a fan of the National Center for Parents as Teachers on Facebook. We’d love to connect with you!


Parenting by Facebook

Is there value in Facebook for organizations like Parents as Teachers? As the National Center plans a conference later this year that looks to the future of parenting, one of the issues that keeps surfacing is the disconnect between time-honored face-to-face communication and the burgeoning social networks like Facebook.


Certainly there’s unprecedented value for young parents in having that in-person connection with someone they trust, whether that person is mom, grandma, a friend who’s already ‘been there’ or a trained parent educator. But is there value in developing social connections through vehicles like Facebook to share parenting advice and inspiration?


Erin, a young Parents as Teachers mom I spoke to recently, told me that while she appreciates the group meeting announcements and fliers about local events her parent educator gives her, she would rather toss them all and find the information in an online calendar. When she’s looking for places to go and things to do with her kids a paper handout is not her first resource; the Internet is. Another mom, Christi, echoes her technology plea. “I work, so when my parent educator leaves a voicemail at home that she’s rescheduling a visit I don’t get it until I get home. I much prefer to communicate with parent educators and teachers by e-mail that I can access throughout the day.”


For parent support organizations who are nimble enough to keep up, this offers new options as well as cost savings. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, social network usage among adults is booming. Will Parents as Teachers programs and parent educators be able…and willing…to keep up?