I have a confession to make: I am awkward and gawky when it comes to social networking.

I was “friended” by Facebook members many, many times before I finally succumbed and created my own account. I limited my definition of the verb “tweet” to what birds do, or perhaps the sound a car engine makes when something is amiss. Does it really also refer to text messages of 140 characters or less?

If this new language isn’t daunting enough, there are rules. You can “retweet,” but only under certain conditions. And I’m not even sure why I would want to retweet—I can’t even figure out why I would want to tweet to begin with!

Should I become a fan of a Facebook page? Should I join a Facebook group? What’s the difference between a page and a group? An old grade school friend poked me recently. Without knowing what that means, I poked her back. I still have no idea what it means.

But slowly, as I haltingly entered this online high school reunion, I began to discover some gems. Here at home, Insideschools.org has both a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Both of these platforms provide excellent and effortless ways for users to keep up with our website.

A random search on the word “autism” on either Facebook or Twitter will yield more results than you know what to do with, but with careful scrutiny, these links can potentially lead to new and exciting ways for niche communities like autism parents to communicate, even across oceans.

Ultimately, Facebook and Twitter provide me with an opportunity to reach out to more people more easily, whether I want to simply say “Good morning” or “Lousy morning!,” or to encourage them to use my website, ShopForCharityNow.com, which has raised over $1,000 for charity (much of it autism-related).

So if you don’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts, I encourage you to create them. If you already have accounts, please post comments on how you use them with respect to special education so that we can all share resources.

As for me, I plan to spend the rest of my summer hanging out with my “tweeps”, trying my best to be “followorthy,”and getting tagged. When Brooks grows up, this last sentence will be so 2009!


This post was originally published on Inisdeschools.org.