You are what you tweet

Let me start off by saying that I don’t watch award shows.

The most recent one was the Golden Globes so I missed the acceptance speech from Meryl Streep.  It’s not a big deal; there were all kinds of reports on its content available the day after, including the text of the script here.

I can see, after review, what all the hubub was about and why it made the news.  It didn’t go unnoticed by the president-elect and he sent a message about it out on Twitter.

Now, I’m not going to get into a political discussion; that’s not the point here.

There are words here that everyone should take to heart. “doesn’t know me“.

That applies to so many people and even more so on social media where a comment or message at any given time can be interpreted so many ways.

Think about it.

There are some readers of this post who truly do know me.  For the most part, visitors to this blog don’t know me at all.  You may infer various things by reading my posts or scanning the OTR Links posts to see parts of what I’m reading.  From that, you may think that you know about me.  But, do you really?

I’m going out for a coffee with a friend this morning.  We know each other pretty well.  I’m drinking a coffee right now and you might be as well.  Do we have the same relationship?

Does your online presence matter?  I think that it absolutely does.

You may not know me personally but you will “know” my online personna.

That’s something that’s pretty personal and, quite frankly, important to me.

Think about others that you engage with.  Are they the same in real life as they are online?  Do they really walk on water as their personal messages indicate?

Or, when you’re behind a keyboard, can you be anyone you choose to be?

It’s an interesting concept and something I think is worthwhile discussing in the classroom.  There are so many ways that the discussion could go.

For an interesting supportive read, check out Lisa Nielsen’s Spend A Day In Someone’s Shoes with Social Media.

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4 Replies to “You are what you tweet”

  1. So much to think about here, Doug! I have these thoughts a lot as I engage in discussions with colleagues about some bloggers and tweeters that I follow online. I often find myself saying, “I know ______,” but then I wonder, how much do I really know him/her? Probably less than I think. The truth is that social media is public and/or easily shared, so it’s different than talking to a friend quietly and in person. We all have an online persona of some sort, but I hope that we’re all at least ish-ly similar to the person that we are online. And in this world of easy sharing and social media, don’t we all kind of ‘know’ everybody, and is that okay? I think it is. If we want people to see us in a certain way, maybe we need to consider what/how we share in a public forum. (I can’t help but wonder if this is the same fear that holds some people back from sharing online.) This is definitely worth students learning too.

    Aviva

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  2. So many ways that this discussion can go indeed!

    Hi – I’m Kelly. And I too feel like I “know” the people I follow on Twitter – and I’ll be honest, like I “know” both of you : ) But when you think about it, it’s really become a surface level of “knowing” now with social media … I think of Facebook and how many “friends” we have, but just seeing a few updates here and there on a newsfeed isn’t truly enough to know someone.

    I hope that by commenting today I can start to know you both a bit better!

    Doug, my first thought was the classroom and our students, but also our parents. I teach 1/2 and when I first started Tweeting 3 years ago, a lot of the parents in my class were concerned about their kids being online. I’d explain that the kids wouldn’t have accounts themselves, that we’d tweet back and forth from my school account and parents’ accounts, that we’d be sure it was safe and monitored.

    Once they got on board the next concern (and it still is one that I struggle to talk about with my students today) is the need to be “liked” or re-tweeted. I still remember in my first year, as I was trying to navigate it all, when one student asked her mom to Tweet a picture of her reading a bedtime story and she was upset because only 3 people had liked it … I was upset when Twitter changed from ⭐ to ❤️️ because it made it so much more difficult to explain the the kids too!

    We don’t tweet just to be liked – it’s nice when we are, yes – but we tweet to share with others, so they can learn from us and we can learn from them; to engage in a conversation; to ask questions (we love reaching out to #kidlit authors!); to research; to give an inside look to our parents, caregivers, family and friends about what we’re doing at school … obviously the list goes on.

    So Aviva, I definitely agree that we need to consider what/how we share in a public forum

    – especially if we’re sharing with & on behalf of our students.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts!

    * I just bought Sylvia Duckworth’s Sketchnotes and immediately flipped to her #Digital Citizenship note before responding to this!!

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  3. Doug
    I have been thinking about this recently as I was contemplating setting up a separate Twitter account to use personally as I try to use the one I have now for professional learning and sharing. I follow political and pop culture tweets but try to keep my retweets and comments on those topics to a minimum. There are certain times I can’t resist – last night’s #SherlockLive was too much fun to ignore!

    It’s easier on Facebook. I use my personal page to share with personal, political and pop culture news with family and friends and then use group pages like Leading in Education, Inquiry in Kindergarten and so on to share professionally.

    Thanks for pushing me to think more deeply about this idea.

    Lisa

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