According to Cromier and Stewart (2019) being pro-social means bringing our values and high quality participation to the web. The question that arises for me is does that need to happen on all my channels? Which leads me to ask the next question “why am I asking this? Do I not already bring my values and quality participation to my channels?”
According to Eisenberg and Mussen (1989) pro-social behaviour can be characterized as one of the following actions: sharing, cooperating, donating, helping, being honest, extending generosity and considering the rights and welfare of other people.
My social media networks are divided. Facebook is where I have kept old connections at bay and have continued connections in the communities of Masset and Old Massett where I lived for many years. Twitter is where I have made newer connections, helping me learn about teaching outside of the resources of my institution, about critical race theory, about open pedagogies, pluralist economics and building care of community. The venn diagram of my twitter network and facebook networks with 1092 connections is an overlap of only 9 connections. Am I exhibiting pro-social behaviours in my social media channels and if so are they the same type of behaviours in each?
The pro-social behaviours I do engage with on social media are mainly donating, extending generosity, sharing and considering the rights and welfare of other people. When I consider improving my pro-social behaviour in the dimension of honesty I don’t mean as an alternative to dishonest presentation but to the absence of presentation entirely. Engaging in honesty will require two actions on my part; presenting my thoughts and integrating my social media identity through the currently siloed channels. The benefits of being more honest online for me is there is an integration of my identity. I don’t need to overthink that part anymore. It is my identity after all, and through that breaking down of silos I can invite others through example to participate on the web in pro-social ways also.
Eisenberg, N., & Mussen, P. H. (1989). The Roots of Prosocial Behavior in Children. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Stewart, B., Phipps, L., & Cormier, D. (2019, April 10). The Participatory open: Can we build a Pro-Social, Pro-Societal web? [Video]. You Tube.