What started in April as a project directed toward collecting and sharing free educational resources, Cognitively Incongruent has now become an example of problems in mobilizing networks in collaborative social media projects. As per my Spiritual Leadership class, I created Cognitively Incongruent, a social media project that hoped to empower people looking for free educational resources through centralizing a database of such resources. Beyond its resource availability, it was my hope that this social media platform would also empower people by improving their social rank in removing the privilege of receiving education.
Rank and social privilege has become one of my major areas of concern, since my involvement in post secondary education. My prior experiences granted me insight as to how education had the power to both allow people to collect rank and allow people to suppress others attempting to achieve it. Motivated to use education as a means to alleviate the rank of others, this social media platform became a vehicle for me to extend my message beyond the in person tutoring network I provided in my community. Yet over the many posts that I set up and the attempts to reach out to families I met in person or students I referred to the site, the only engagement I saw was strictly the membership that developed. People became visitors and participants strictly in presence, which began to raise several questions in my mind.
What value was this social media in promoting the message?
How come my vast network in the community wasn’t participating?
And could there be other factors affecting its growth?
Realizing that my own networks were the primary result of face to face presentations at local schools, word of mouth references and in person tutoring clients, I was well aware that maybe this social media platform was not congruent with my type of networking and even existing network. All of my networking interactions had been the direct result of in-person connections, not through internet based social media platforms. Moreover, those participants who bridged the gap and joined the Google based group had already had access to the Google based network and were social media savvy individuals. Yet most of my existing network and those who I strive to outreach with, contained individuals who were not as internet savvy, nor even engaged in social media projects to begin with.
Beyond participation from my own networking, in person, I too was resistant to engage in social media. My own lack of comfort and outlook on social media played on my reluctance to become involved in other social media platforms to promote my page. I have, for the part most, been an advocate for direct in person communication and I am openly opposed to the level of communication that social media has new created, stemmed from a lack of intimacy and sincerity I feel in social media networks. Outside of the project, my direct in-person network has steadily continued to grow absent of this projects influence.
In reflecting on these points, I feel that although my resources are all internet based, my networking strategies and skills are all in-person directed. I also feel that if I was someone who was more socially engaged within internet social media projects, Cognitively Incongruent could strive to have a more public presence and participation. Overall, Cognitively Incongruent’s lack of growth stands to exemplify the unique aspect of my spiritual leadership, as a direct person to person interaction based movement not an internet based social media movement.