Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future).
Utecht’s article highlights the five stages of PLN adoption; immersion, evaluation, know it all, perspective and balance (Utecht, 2008). Stage 1 begins with an individual being immersed within networks and the social media community while they begin to communicate and collaborate. Stage 3 and 4 is when the individual tries to learn everything they can about social media before beginning to find perspective. Utecht gives an example of having to disconnect from social media for the likes of a family holiday (Utecht, 2008). This has been illustrated through the following image:
Stage 5 is the optimal stage where one begins to find the knowledge that their PLN shares can stay within the networking site and they no longer have to seek to know everything all of the time.
I believe I am currently somewhere between stage 4 and stage 5. While occasionally I find myself on twitter trying to find all the answers and know everything most of the time I seek to find balance and understand that I can use my PLN to find specific information relevant to what I need at the time. Within the comments on the article by Utecht, I found an interesting perspective, a commenter had suggested a fork in the road after stage 3 where people would find it all too hard and return back to lacking a PLN (Unknown, N. 2008). The commenter also suggested a round-a-bout between stage 4 and stage 5 as while some people seek balance most fall back into the trap frequently of trying to know everything.
The gaps I currently feel within my PLN is stage 2, evaluation. While I have a rich PLN on my twitter I feel I have no evaluated all the pages I currently follow. As I scroll and engage I sometimes unfollow pages which I no longer find useful however I feel more time could be spent evaluating the worth of some of the posts. Utecht (2008) discussed this phase as the need to rush through to get to the ‘Know It All’ stage however I feel in my case, it was more a need to learn a lot within my early career. Now that I am more established I do not feel the need to engage as deeply with a wide range of content but rather content that is specific to my circumstances and knowledge required.
Unknown, N. (2008, April 3). Re: Stages of PLN adoption [Blog comment]. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/
Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption | The Thinking Stick. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/