It feels weird to say this, but social media are a part of every relationship in my life. On Facebook, I keep tabs on faraway friends and family. On Instagram and Tumblr, I’m able to reinvigorate my creative side and find inspiration – I guess this would be my relationship with myself and the outside world.
My relationship with the professional world of social media has been somewhat tumultuous. Especially when it comes to Twitter. I dragged my feet for years on joining this platform. As my reporter friends began developing and honing in on their Twitter persona, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of resistance. I didn’t want to brand myself and I wasn’t comfortable with promoting my work – it seemed fake and self-serving.
In the last few years, Twitter has risen to prominence in the journalism world as not only a way of putting a face behind a byline, but as a legitimate news source.
4/After the tech early-adopters, journalists were next to take to Twitter. They used it as a source, to break news, and to link their work.
— Jack (@jack) March 21, 2015
I realized – however dramatic this is – that I would either sink or swim. Since I wasn’t quite comfortable just yet, I chose to float. I slowly started following other reporters, taking note of how they were able to still maintain their genuine selves while contributing valuable chatter to a rapidly evolving conversation.
I’m still working on the whole ~conversation~ aspect of Twitter – the 140 character limit is hell for someone who’s super wordy – but I feel that by sticking your neck out just a little bit, you can mold any relationship into what you want it to be.
— Annie Palmer (@annierpalmer) February 1, 2016