Lately I’ve found myself considering something nearly heretical: leaving my personal Facebook page behind, and focusing my social media presence entirely on professional and scholarly endeavors.
Then I find myself wanting to share some funny quip from my husband or a personal story, and I come to my senses. But still, my perspective about social media is clearly evolving.
I think it started with my Kevin 2.0 post last summer. I had gotten tired of the rampant negativity that I found myself spewing, and that I saw online from others. I made a point of better curating what I put out into the world, and better filtering what was coming in from other people. I think it’s helped, on both fronts.
I’ve always been conscious of what I post on social media — I have often said that I don’t post anything I don’t want my mother or my boss to see — but more recently I’ve become especially concerned about it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been more focused on building a reputation as a subject matter expert in the field of Diversity & Inclusion. Maybe I’m increasingly paranoid about future colleagues or even employers Googling me. Perhaps I’m even thinking ahead to future students one day looking up their professor online.
Whatever the motive, I’ve found myself focusing more and more on putting out a professional image. I’ve spent more time on LinkedIn, and, shockingly, less time on Facebook. I’ve been sharing more posts about my profession, and even about academia. I’m finding the content more interesting, the colleagues more appealing, and the promise of new professional connections more compelling than new drinking buddies or political arguments.
I’ve even laid the groundwork for new social media pages to use once I finish my Ph.D. in a few months. I suspect when the time comes, I’ll be spending most of my online time with those pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and yes, even my own website and blog.
Until then, I suppose you can still expect to see the occasional Facebook post from a bar or leaving a movie theater.