My Twitter name is @AdoptAGldn, which should not surprise anyone who knows me as my passion is working with a Golden Retriever rescue group. My profile reads:
(Until recently, that first sentence read “…two rescued Goldens and one tiny cat.” RIP, Squeak… I miss you very much.) The order in which I list these descriptors is reflective of their importance to me – dogs (pets), school, work. However, if you read my tweets, the dogs do not make as many appearances as you might expect. I have yet to incorporate my dog-friends into my Twitter followers, choosing instead to interact with them on Facebook . (For more on my preference for Facebook over Twitter, see Where I Think Twitter Falls Short.) My tweets are more reflective of my academic self and my professional self. This semester, especially, my tweets have focused on different aspects of literacy and education since tweeting was part of my homework.
In their article “I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately”, Marwick and boyd say that “identity on Twitter is constructed through conversations with others” (p. 11), but I disagree. In my experience, Twitter has not been very adept at fostering conversation. Rather, I find that my identity on Twitter is constructed by what I choose to tweet. I am a student. I am a marketing professional. I am an animal lover. Because that’s what I tweet about. Marwick and boyd go on to say that “the fact that we constantly vary self-presentation based on audience reveals authenticity as a construct: are we more or less authentic with our book club or gym partner?” (p. 11). I would argue that I am just as authentic as a student with my Twitter audience as I am a crazy dog lover on Facebook. It is just that I have chosen to use different media for different purposes. I believe this is what boyd was talking about when she said, “knowing one’s audience matters when trying to determine what is socially appropriate to say or what will be understood by those listening. In other words, audience is critical to context.” It’s not that what I tweet about wouldn’t be of interest to my Facebook or LinkedIn audience – I have been known to cross-post on more than one social media outlet – it’s more that the people I’m connected with in these different spaces are, for the most part, distinct audiences.
My LinkedIn connections number 161 and are predominantly people I know in a professional capacity. On Facebook, I have 167 friends from all areas of my life. There is some overlap between my Facebook friends and my LinkedIn connections. I am following 30 people on Pinterest, with almost 100% overlap with my Facebook friends. On Twitter, I am currently only following 25 people or organizations with minimal overlap to either Facebook or LinkedIn. The main reason I have chosen those 25 to follow on Twitter is because I hope to get information from them more than I want to share information with them, with the exception of my followings for #adlt650.
I plan to continue to be known on Twitter as @AdoptAGldn and tweet about things that strike me as interesting. I hope you’ll (continue to) follow me.