Playing in the Sandbox.
(I am borrowing the term sandbox loosely from the Social Networking Site of the same name. I don’t know if the developers named the Smart’s site, Sandbox for the same reason I envision it to be, but nonetheless, I think I live in a world of virtual sandboxes. Parts of this post is taken from an earlier post I wrote in my Sandbox account entitled “In the Sandbox”.)
As a preschool teacher, I’ve seen many great things happen in the sandbox. From friendships being formed to arguments erupting and being settled the Sandbox is probably a kids version of the real world. This is where ideas are born and developed. It is where loyalties are learned and values are explored. And lest we forget, it is a place of fun!
As we get older, we move away from the sandbox and forage through the great unknown, but the dynamics remain the same. We find a place where we converge, form friendships, settle arguments, share ideas, and even find love and grow. When I first signed up for an account in the Sandbox social networking site, I wondered why it was called such. I mean, it could have been named so many other things, right? Then it dawned on me, the World Wide Web is our sandbox. It is our play place. Like our childhood sandboxes, social networking sites become our place to play and learn, and yes, even grow.
Since I have discovered my virtual sandbox (or sandboxes should I say, as I have accounts in so many social networking and blog sites!), I have had so much fun. I have discovered that there is more to blogging than I thought there was in the first place. I found out that online friendships are just as grand as those offline. And I have had a lot of fun being invited to events and contests both on and offline. But like a sandbox, it’s not always just fun and games. Once in a while some sand gets kicked around and people get hurt. Sometimes just by virtue of being in the sandbox, I get sand in my eye as well.
There are life lessons to be learned here. Playing in the sandbox entails responsibilities and caution, after all.
1. Play gently. It is very easy to accidentally throw sand in the wind. One sudden move can inadvertently hurt many others because we don’t know how far the sand can go when we push it too hard.
2. Saying sorry goes a long way. Because we are having fun, it is possible to forget that others may not be having fun along with us and we hurt their feelings. Should this happen, and you know you are wrong, the magic word “sorry” makes a big difference.
3. Have fun. Compared to the Juniors and Seniors classes I teach, I noticed that the Toddlers approach with a bit more trepidation than the older kids. I always tell them to go and have fun. They start out with just tapping the sand with their finger. Then they begin to stick their hands in deeper before exploring fully. In our virtual sandboxes, we go (or at least I did) the same way. We start out with default templates then we try adding widgets. Before we know it, we are changing CSS and what not. And though it can be a daunting and intimidating task, we plunge headfirst.
4. Do unto others what you want done unto you. The Golden Rule, right? I think it is important that even in the world of virtual relationships and interactions we still remember the basics. In the same breath, pay it forward.
5. Karma rocks. I may not be a firm believer in many of the tenets of karma, mainly because I don’t understand it much, but I think this is true: what you give out comes back to you.
I am loving my virtual playground. Everyday I learn something new. Are you having fun yet?
check out http://www.mysandbox.com/and discover our own local Sandbox. For more information, check out the following:
- What is Sandbox – http://abuggedlife.com/2009/04/22/sandbox-the-social-thats-local/
- 5 Top Good Reasons to Join Sandbox - http://abuggedlife.com/2009/04/22/5-good-reasons-to-join-sandbox/
- Come Join and Play With Me at Sandbox – http://aboutmyrecovery.com/2009/05/24/smart-sandbox/
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