Twenty years ago, how did we pick up skills? We went to the library to pick up a book, took private lessons, joined a group or club, subscribed to a magazine, got a formal education, or we would wing it and dive into a new skill blindly.
That’s not to say we don’t still do these things, or that we shouldn’t, or even that these methods of learning are outdated and needed to be improved upon. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if, after this whole mess of a year is over, we see an uptick in face-to-face skill sharing methods. I imagine many of us are at least a little starved for human connection, or maybe that’s just me.
Today, though, there is an overabundance of online resources to pick up a skill, or research how to do a task. We’re essentially drowning in information, and it’s difficult (if not impossible) to know if what you’re reading online is a legitimate resource with helpful information.
Take YouTube, for example. There are entire communities dedicated to tutorials and developing skills. Cooking, makeup, singing, crafting, writing, repairs, DIY, and application tutorials are just a few of many skills that have communities dedicated to them on YouTube. On the same vein, many influencers promote sites like SkillShare, whose entire purpose is to learn new skills for an economical price (Skillshare, 2020).
Sites like Skillshare aren’t without their criticisms, though. One article on StudyBreak, a website written by students about media and culture, states that the teachers on Skillshare may not be experts in their fields (Stager, 2020). Who is there to verify the information being shared to students? Stager goes on to say that without quality control, students must be critical about how qualified their teachers are. Therefore, the courses cannot be trusted entirely.
This also applies to online forums for specific skills. I have personally used forums such as Absolute Write and Podcasts such as Writing Excuses to learn other people’s opinions about creative writing, but I have always used these resources with the knowledge that I cannot take anyone’s word for absolute fact. I have to use my own experiences, and reconcile their opinions with my own, to determine whether or not I believe these resources are worth my time. That being said, hearing other people’s opinions, and hearing people talk about writing topics I would have never considered, has been helpful to me in improving my own writing.
Is social media a valid resource for learning? What do you believe? Tell me your experiences below!
Twitter: Can you learn new skills with Social Media? Here’s what I think: https://bit.ly/36ZZPiw
Facebook: Social media has changed everything, including how we learn new skills. Click the link to read some pros and cons: https://bit.ly/36ZZPiw
Skillshare. (2020) About. Retrieved from https://www.skillshare.com/about
Stager, M. (2020, September 23) Are Learning Platforms Like Skillshare Worth Your Time? Retrieved from https://studybreaks.com/college/linkedin-learning-vs-skillshare/