Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Professional & Personal Accounts ... or just one?

At one of the sessions at the Social Media & Society conference in July, a presenter asked the audience about our use of SoMe - do we have personal and professional accounts or just one? My answer was that I use one, while another participant expressed that he used two. A short discussion ensued as to our reasons. I understand and respect the separate account perspective - whatever works for you! Most people do that, it seems, so that the personal and professional are kept separate. Often it is expressed that some of the personal is not appropriate for the professional setting. Fair enough. I also understand why some K-12 teachers keep separate social media accounts. I certainly understand that inappropriate use can have repercussions, we see examples of that all the time, but that goes beyond having two account.

My use of one account for each medium is based on a few premises. I believe that the 'online me' is - well, me. Sure, I try not to use profanity online, but I do post about my favourite beverage, beer, and I do post some political or other thoughts, but just like offline, I don't go about spouting anything that comes to mind - I try to use a filter.  I also think a person's role has a part to play in that choice. For me, I see a modelling role, and also I teach older students. The majority of them already have one post-secondary degree and are entering a profession - namely teaching - and should be able to relate at a personal and professional level. I also feel, as mentioned, that I am who I am - so take it or leave it. I also think that folks who share some of their character are more (I don't care for this over-used word, but) authentic, or real. It is nice to know a bit about the person as they are. So, if you follow me on SoMe, you will see a mix of personal and professional.

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