Sunday, January 18, 2015

On Twitter and transparency

Bill, why don't you have separate Twitter accounts, one for personal tweets and one for professional tweets?

That's a great question, and I know many educators do just that, and I understand why, I think.

But in my case, I have a few reasons to have just one.

First, one of my goals as a person is that my whole life will be just that: whole. I don't want to be one person at home and another at work. To me, that sort of thing cause a tension between the two, which results in stress. Having one account forces me to examine all of my posts in the same light, applying the same standard. If it's not OK to post something because my students might see it, then I need to ask why it's OK at all.

Secondly, I want people to see me as I am. That way there won't be any surprises. What you see is what you get.

Thirdly, I think there's a danger that if I present a different face to my students, one that is scrubbed clean of all weaknesses and points of possible criticism, if I post only education-related, purely positive and absolutely vanilla posts, then the message I'm sending is that it's not important to be yourself. Instead, masks are better.

I think it's good for my students to see that I'm a real person as well as their teacher, complete with potentially controversial views, strange music preferences, and a full and varied life outside of school.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! This is pretty much the way I roll as well. Having an authentic persona is more important than offending someone, not living up to norms, and the like. Life is complex and trivializing it by compartmentalizing personality can be tricky all unto itself.
    I think people who pretend to be squeaky clean in one persona have difficult times when the other personas are all too human.
    True friends and peers I think accept and respect the transparency of a whole person regardless of the blemishes and differences.