As the parent of four, ageing from 13 to 20, I’m often astounded by the amount of time my children spend on social media, usually commenting that it’s a waste of time and head space, and being critical of the content.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, my 13 year old daughter had sporadic learning provided by her school, and my 20 year old was home from university receiving very limited Zoom seminars. I was extremely frustrated, that instead of being able to follow any curriculum, both resorted to spending the day in bed on various social media channels. It was easy to recognise when my daughter Lottie was on Tiktok, as it sounded like a baby elephant was jumping around upstairs as she followed the latest dance craze. If you’ve a teenage daughter or son, you’ll know what I mean.
Although she was noisy, it wasn’t this that frustrated me, but the lack of learning that I felt was taking place.
During the same time, I was furloughed from my role as a director, and being a workaholic, I was unable to sit and do nothing, so I took the time to develop a sister business to our travel recruitment company, Progressive Travel Recruitment. As a qualified learning and development specialist, I’ve always wanted to take my passion for training and development, along with my knowledge of the industry, and develop a soft skills e-learning business.
So, you can imagine my frustration. There I am working eight to ten hour days designing eLearning courses while two of my children dance, snap, engage with influencers and watch countless YouTube videos. I felt they were completely wasting their time. That was until it came time to create a social media campaign for our new business. During a discussion around the dinner table I was explaining that I knew Facebook and LinkedIn social media platforms, but wasn’t sure if we needed any of the others. It was at this moment that the hours, days, weeks and months my kids spent on the various social media channels showed its value. Within a few hours I’d been enlightened to the power of Insta images, the benefits of having a YouTube channel, how having a Snapchat account for the business will help us to engage with future travel professionals, and much more. That evening, as they wandered off to their rooms, there was an element of superiority emanating from them.
I have to say that while I felt a sense of information overload, and it was slightly overwhelming, it has been immensely useful, and certainly reminded me of something I constantly quote ‘you’re never too old to learn’. Since then, I’ve gone back to them countless times and have broken my learning down into chunks; each of them specialises in different social media platforms and they are able to answer or indeed problem solve for me.
We’ve have used the same methodology when designing our courses. Bitesize, easily accessible learning that is written by industry experts, which is fun, informative and engaging and affordable.
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