Do you believe everything you tweet?
"Do you believe everything you tweet?" I was asked in the hallway one day.
I was taken aback. Mentally searching the latest batch of tweets I scanned for something that may have precipitated such a question. We talked briefly about the purpose of my tweets and engagement with the professional learning community. I had retweeted the lamentation of a colleague struggling to find a balance between work and home life. To a new tweep, it appeared the problem was mine and that I was in a period of stress.
It made me think more about how tweets contribute to people's understanding of me and reinforced the importance of care in exercising my voice
My tweets generally come in four flavours:
Personal opinions, observations, celebrations
Sharing others' good work, resources, ideas. Generally things I like and want to try or think on
Expressions of agreement, solidarity, sympathy, and support for challenging or stressful situations
Raising points of discussion, controversy, highlighting challenges, taking a position
Although there's no hard and fast rule for how I identify each type of tweet, there are some patterns:
- SHARING: simple just text, maybe a hashtag or two, usually no twitter abbreviations
- SPOTLIGHTING: tend to be Retweets (RTs), or direct links to a source
- SUPPORTING: usually replies/mentions, maybe a quoted tweet with a personal comment
- ADVOCATING: retweets of a controversial position with my own personal counter-statement
Sharing information and raising controversial topics within the 140 character constraints of a twitter post is not impossible. Doing so in a way that makes clear one's own point of view or opinion is also possible.
Are all my tweets statements of my own personal beliefs and values? If I have taken care to craft the tweet appropriately, yes, each one should reflect who I am and what I believe.