Amanda and Simon Davey have been on Facebook and Twitter and Amanda (me) has been on LinkedIn for well over ten years. Since 2015 Tilia Publishing UK has been on Facebook and Twitter. We are hatching a plot to start a YouTube channel as well – building on lessons learned during the lockdowns.
Social media is like any meeting space for humans, it is exceptionally variable. What is worth mentioning is that the places, spaces and people that we have engaged with and experienced have almost wholely been positive. There have been a couple of exceptions, but that’s true of all human interactions, they are rarely perfect.
What we have been ‘lucky’ to avoid is the negativity that the print media like to expand upon. It is possible to suggest that the luck relates to where our energy goes, as social media is in fact an enormously positive early stage educational tool. There has been a surge in citizen science, where observations of easily identifiable natural history have been made into a form of educational game and the results of thousands of eyes accompanied by supporting photographs has allowed a level of data that could never be funded at that scale. Children learn to love things like insects and get excited by seeing new ones. This can be a great introduction to a deeper understanding and further investigation, with the caveat of not relying too heavily on the internet for identification in record submission of course.