Picking Up New Skills with Social Media

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.

Source

That’s not to say we don’t still do these things, or that we shouldn’t, or even that these methods of learning are outdated and needed to be improved upon.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.

I miss my friends. Source

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.

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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

References

                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/

2 thoughts on “Picking Up New Skills with Social Media

  1. The first think I thought about with your first post of the library was those sign out cards we used back in school. I feel like i aged myself with that comment. lol Thank for sharing these links, i’ve saved them for the future.

  2. I definitely appreciate how Youtube has made information/skill sharing so much more accessible. My Dad, for example, is a handy man but not tech-savvy. However, he’ll use Youtube to help him with home projects. It’s likely saved him hundreds of dollars over the years since he doesn’t have to contract out!

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