Sink, swim or float

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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.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Sink, swim or float

  1. I related so hard to this! Twitter became pretty popular when I was in high school, but I truly struggled the point of it. I saw my peers some 5-6 years ago use it as a platform to rant, a never ending stream of Facebook statuses. Once it became a source of news, I think it became far more credible. I know, for myself, I end up learning a lot of breaking news through Twitter.. the death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage. I had to conform! But it’s great once you get the hang of it.

  2. I definitely understand what you mean about deciding to “float” on Twitter, as opposed to sinking or swimming. When first trying it out in a way to brand yourself, it’s important to find the perfect medium that fits you. There are so many voices out there, it’s easy to get drowned. Twitter is a place that’s constantly going so the question is always, how does one stand out among the crowd? Great piece!

  3. Joining social media platforms is often a challenging task. I am glad that you realized that there is this social media trend in today’s world. If you aren’t on social media, many say that you don’t exist. I personally don’t feel that this is true. I completely understand not being entirely comfortable with your Twitter persona. I am struggling to find my own voice, as I just started professionally using the site for this class. It is a constant balance between what is deemed “professional” and what actually represents my values. I’ve found it’s easier than expected to find both of these aspects in my Twitter posts. I’m not ready to give up my “college undergraduate” voice just yet, but there’s a way to have this identity and still produce meaningful content that everyone can enjoy.
    I appreciate you pointing out the limits of the 140 characters. I’m an extremely wordy person and am struggling to learn the art of condensing. My dad always says, the best version of my message is always going to be found by cutting out words, not adding.
    Thanks for sharing!

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