“Ew, Tweeter, what is that?”
As my fingers dance across my keyboard, this is normally what I hear when someone pops up behind me and glimpses at my screen. As it is, I don’t just use Twitter, I use Tweetdeck ( well, wait, since Twitter is acquiring Tweetdeck, does it just make Tweetdeck Twitterdeck?). When people who are unfamiliar with any form of social platform other than Facebook, they find it overwhelming, the endless, non-stop stream on content, mentions,locations, check-ins.
And then I get the dreaded question.
“Can you teach me how to use Twitter or something?”
I don’t consider myself a selfish person, but platforms like Twitter,Tumblr and even Facebook, are so personal that the fun in it for me,personally, was to experiment and find out on my own how to navigate through these sites and communicate. How do I explain to someone who uses Facebook for Cityville and Zynga Poker that Twitter is more than just another place to post an update about your pup Fifi?
Of course, I am not exempt from the mindless clutter of tweets that I feed into my stream on a daily basis- I go through moments of personal, informational, and random tweets, while trying to at least maintain a core focus on my interests that got me into tweeting in the first place : digital media,technology, and public relations. Through participation in the weekly tweetchat @Journchat, the brainchild of PR Super Diva Sarah Evans, not only was I given the ability to connect and network with PR Pros, rookies, and enthusiasts all over the country, but it gave me a chance to really hone my craft; A second look at what I was educated in and applying that to current events and situations amongst other who understand that being involved in public relations, journalism, and the digital media era is ever evolving.
So when asked, ” What is Twitter?” I usually fumble for a response. Twitter gave me access to new friends, new ideas. Twitter introduced me to the Graphic Communications and Management Program at NYU, which I was later admitted to as a graduate student. Twitter connects me with those in the know, and not just because we went to school together, or found each other on Facebook. Twitter is that constant stream of innovation and information that will continue to change how we identify ourselves on-line.
I have battled with the possibility of having two seperate twitter accounts : one to have as a professional person in weekly chats and all, and one for my personal musings. At the end of the day, I prefer not to take my personality out of Twitter- there is nothing wrong with showing how my mind works and functions along with the way I may intrepet and analyze daily events and situations.
This has resulted in being followed,unfollowed, personally messaged about content, or told in person that my tweets are sometimes “too personal”, ” don’t put yourself out there.” So does this mean we are constantly protecting our identities online? Keeping one face while hiding another?
How social do we really want our social media to be?