I’ve been on social media a lot of my life, like many people my age. I was a bit late to the game, though, because I didn’t see a particular point at the time. Now I’m trying to find a happy medium.
My preferred social media platform is Facebook. I know, I am one of those people. I like it mostly for its chat features, but also because a lot of my non-higher ed friends only use Facebook. This is not to say that my higher ed friends aren’t on Facebook. It’s just the vast majority of the people I communicate with regularly use Facebook more. I do still belong to a multitude of other social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Tumblr. These other platforms do not always meet my actual social media needs, though.
I think the most frustrating part of social media is knowing which platform is the most ‘in’. Currently, in our field at least, I find that to be Twitter. The problem is that I frequently find myself only tweeting when I’m at a conference or when I’m watching a webinar. Sometimes I’ll retweet articles or an artist’s insightful comments (i.e. what is Kesha doing this week). The challenge I find though is that it simply isn’t my favorite social media site, but it is extremely popular with our students and our field.
I’ve been trying to become more active on Twitter because it is where I find a lot of good higher ed information, but I find it difficult. I only have 140 characters to express sometimes complex comments. Even more so, I’m terrible with abbreviations and chat speak. I very rarely use more than ‘lol’ or ‘omw’ even in text messages. I think it also becomes challenging for me in that because of those 140 characters, I end up spending a lot of time drafting tweets. Something that should only take me a quick minute, can take up quite a bit of time in an attempt to fit my thoughts in that very small space.
On the other hand, I do love hashtags. Hashtags live primarily on twitter and make it very simple to find anything. They also act as a medium to spark social conversations. The most recent that popped onto my radar (thanks to a YouTube video) is #disabilitysowhite. I think hashtags can be a powerful tool to engage our students and our field in more pressing social matters
With that said, I’m proposing a challenge to myself and for all of those people in student affairs who are not avid twitter users. Here are the guidelines for the 4 Week Tweet Challenge:
1. Tweet one higher ed article each week for four weeks
2. Participate in two #SAchat conversations
3. Ask a question to an #SApro whose articles you’ve read or whom you admire
4. Engage in a trending twitter topic that you are passionate about (look at those hashtags)
5. Tweet at least twice a week outside of the other guidelines
Feel free to join me on this twitter-venture as I try to jump into a more social media active #SApro life. Follow or tweet along with me at @mlsanzo.