Monday, July 16, 2012

Navigating the Tweetaverse

I was asked in a comment from last week's post if I have a Twitter account, and the answer is yes. (I'm @Arch_Intern101 for what it's worth.)  I'm not the most productive Tweeter/Twitterer--I mostly retweet a tweet or article I find interesting. I find that most of my random thoughts require more than 140 characters to impart the full force of my fury.  I also don't want any of my tweets biting me later.

I have an intern who started a side business with a buddy (one that did not compete with our firm in any way), and he was having a hard time getting it off the ground even though this project and side business was his passion.  One day, he tweeted something like "how do you keep going when your dream keeps dying slowly?"

His tweet popped up in his LinkedIn profile, and that popped up in a weekly "here's what your LinkedIn contacts have been doing lately" email in my inbox.  I knew he'd been working on some boring stuff lately (shops and CDs, definitely not the stuff of architectural dreams), so I went to him to ask if everything was going okay, and was he worried about his job or career at our office?  The intern blushed crimson--he didn't realize that linking his Twitter account to his LinkedIn account--which he was using to get his side venture of the ground--was being seen by his non-side-venture coworkers...and bosses.

The internet is so vast and anonymous that it's easy to forget that it is indeed a public venture.  Once you attach your name to something, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, or anything else, it can be traced back to you and can be used for or against you.  Whenever you post something on an electronic platform, make sure you're okay with one of your bosses ever finding that post/tweet/status update and reading it aloud at the next office meeting.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. A lot of people forget that social media stuff--well, anything we put on the internet, for that matter--is permanent. Sure, I can delete my Twitter account or take down my website/FB page/Instagram, but it's still out there thanks to the internet "wayback machine" (archives). Put your real name on it, okay, but be prepared. Everything you put on social media should make you proud.

    I had my Twitter feed on my blog for a couple days, but took it down. I felt it took away from the point of my blog, which is connecting with my readers and showing prospective clients my work. Twitter's a great way to announce a new project or blog post (or a promo for businesses). I've discovered great reading via Twitter. But like the internet in general, it can be a total waste of time if you use it the wrong way.

    One last Twitter note. Last fall, a student left her classroom computer station on after leaving my class. She'd left her Twitter account sitting there, still logged in, WIDE OPEN. She'd been Tweeting during class...why and about what, I have no idea. She was a D/F student who had little interest in getting help or doing better; it shouldn't have surprised me that she was Tweeting during class. And what if someone had come along and started tweeting hateful garbage as the student? It would've been from her account. So I logged her out, shut down her computer, and went on to my next class. [shrugs]