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Could you spend time out in nature with no internet connection at all?
Could you curl up and read, write for yourself, no pressure of deadlines, assessments or assignments?
Could your students?
As 2019 crawls to its end, I suppose the season for balancing out one's life will soon be in full swing. These days most people seem to evaluate their life, achievements, failures, joys and sorrows by comparing them to others on Social Media. As most people know, this can bring a lot of frustration and lack of gratitude for what one already has. Although I do blend digital tools into learning activities, I find myself also reminding learners to take time out, to leave their digital worlds and find balance and joy in their local surroundings. There is so much more to life than Social Media and comparing one's life to others.
What if one could embrace oneself, one's own identity and pleasures in life without the constant fear and pressure to compare them to others?
There are many points here that may be discussed with students - from the pursuit of happiness, to Social Media pressures, to the pressures of changing oneself and "achieving it all".
Among the many challenges for young people today, is to find time to write - without engaging in Social Media. What if they had a space, still digital, but quiet, without the noises of likes and dislikes? A space where they could write for themselves, no pressure, no FOMO, no assessment? Even though writing in a regular note book and by hand may have advantages, let's be honest - when do you really see young people without their mobile devices?
Paper.Coffee is one of those quiet spaces for writing. Writing without public, prying eyes, writing without the pressure of likes and dislikes.
Writing for the sake of writing.
Writing for the sake of establishing clarity and eliminating stress. Writing for the sake of being more productive in the future as writing what one has learnt helps a learner to remember more clearly.
Paper.Coffee is very simple to use. Log in with a Gmail account and your writing space is created.
In the pull down menu, you can select what colour background you want; I chose Berry as an example.
In no way would I advocate isolation for students nor to discard Social Media completely. However, I do suggest quiet times, moments when they can reflect, stretch out, inhale, enjoy being off Social Media and all that comes with it.
Quiet times for reading, for thinking, for writing.
Perhaps having a quiet digital space could appeal to students - who would always have the option open of sharing or not, their thoughts in writing.
FOMO or JOMO?
Which will your students choose?
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