As my Twitter addiction intensifies, I am starting to grapple with the question: what is my online persona or what should it be? Really, that’s probably two different questions, but everything is running together for me right now. As so many have pointed out, Tweeting is about the quality of the interactions and being transparent and genuine. That is what I have tried to be, even more so recently.
In the early days of my Tweeting career, I posted about anything and everything, rarely giving thought to who was listening. Now, I put a lot more thought into my tweets, but every once in awhile, I get fired up about something and hit send before I’ve reflected on how my followers may receive the message. Case in point, last night, I re-tweeted a message from TIME about the Hawaiian governor’s decision to allow same sex civil unions. I believe that everyone, regardless of their sexual preference, should be allowed the same rights as everyone else, so this news was a big “hurrah” for me. And off into the Twittersphere it went.
Fast forward two hours. I am reading up on some of my new Twitter friends to get to know them better and discover that one of them had unfollowed me. Oh no! My stomach dropped. Then I read his profile. Oh no again! Right there for the world to see was his declaration of support in favor of traditional conservative values. EEK. It had to have been my TIME RT. I must have offended him. Before I had time to let the emotions settle, I fired off a tweet to him to find out if I had in fact offended him. Turns out it was a big misunderstanding and he didn’t intentionally unfollow me, nor had I offended him. Phew! But it does lead me to this question: Should we/can we/will we be ourselves in the Twittersphere?
If my new follower had unfollowed me because of that RT, would it have been the end of the world? I guess not, no, because it’s not about the number of followers. But, even though he was a new friend, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our interactions, and if I had offended him, I would feel awful. On the other hand, the Tweet in question was me- the unabridged, undiluted me. If he doesn’t like that, that is his choice and I am okay with that… or am I?
6 thoughts on “Should You/Can You/Will You Be Yourself?”
I avoid political talk in most conversations in real life unless I know where the other person stands.
So, I avoid political talk on Social Media too, with one exception.
I have a blog that is political that is separate from all the others. Different platform and very different look.
It gets updated infrequently and only when I have a strong desire and the time.
If you are concerned about offending, then temper your tweets and facebook postings.
If you want your political thoughts to be known than share them.
One last thought.
I have a friend who posted on his facebook page the day after the November 2008 election, “We Did It!”
He promptly lost his biggest client who was not an Obama supporter.
I can be myself and still hold my tongue at times and speak up at other times.
Ah yes. Never mix business or pleasure with politics- I understand that and usually do a great job separating that. I guess I need to apply that to Social Media too. Knowing when to hold your tongue and when to speak up is a fine art. Thanks Scott!
I feel you. For sure. I have always been me – the work me, the derby me, the serious, the weirdo me (on FB and Twitter, with Mom, friends, co-workers, clients, etc). Wondering when/if this will bite me, and if I can not care enough to not care.
I have and will always remain professional at times when that is called for, if others chose to delve into my personal life by friending me elsewhere, then so be it. They may follow/unfollow, but I hope upon their unfollowings – diversity has been recognized and respected. At 23, I interviewed for a job at a fairly conservative place. They seemed concerned with my (let’s call it) wild side (before derby or social networking online) at notice of their recurring questions/comments I found quite personal (I was more than qualified for the job), in my 3rd interview I told them I was no longer interested in a smart-classy-stick-it-you-respectful short sentence why. I will NEVER forget walking out of their building – still one of my proudest moments, at 32.
I always joke… I only judge others who judge others 🙂
OMG Jackie Daniels commented on my blog 🙂 Hi there! I haven’t talked to you in forever. I hope you are enjoying yourself in Chicago. I love your insight here- and it doesn’t surprise me at all that you were that strong at 23… Thanks so much for weighing in.
BE YOURSELF, NO SHAME IN YOUR GAME. I understand you have to balance the biz and personal world, but this is your personal account! If you lose someone, there will always be more people and I think honesty is much preferable. Even if you have a ‘I wish I had not said that’ moment. You have no problem accepting others opinions when they do not agree with your own and you should not worry about holding hands with the masses. Plus, Plus, Plus I love a fired up Janie!