Iron Man just irons. HT Jim Benton, SuperPowers
Ok, lots of cause for alarm about the negative impact of social media. Let us relax, and let ourselves enjoy some of the more positive effects too.
Thanks to a newly found knitting network on YouTube, I have acquired knitting skills. Mostly in the form a dense yarn habit, but my neck is decidedly warmer, and I am building up to dog blankets, little people hats, picnic rugs, anything else of a square knit-shaped disposition.
Collective skills sharing isn't anything new, but global communities designed to share (for free) what in the past were the legend of family-based learning have opened up the art of coming together to learn something new. Even if, like me, you are really, really, really bad at it. Two conferences I will be attending this year have knitting workshops (whoop), including one where the keynote will knit, stitch and share their research in this area.
I feel emboldened to try new things, and at the same time slightly unsettled there is further distraction enabled by the screen. So this is the real tension, when does social media become too much? If it is helping us to open up, to try new things, to meet new people, then those are assets that we need.
I hope this is an opportunity for personal growth beyond the screen.
And a lot of scarves.
FREE knitting patterns and guides:
Stich n unwind
All free patterns < especially good for socks
The Spruce Crafts < lovely site and aspirational knitted cushion covers (you have been warned)
Reading about crafting and digital communities:
Manosevitch, I. and Tzuk, Y., 2017. Blogging, craft culture, and women empowerment. Cogent Social Sciences, 3(1), p.1408753.
Hackney, F., 2013. Quiet activism and the new amateur: The power of home and hobby crafts. Design and Culture, 5(2), pp.169-193.