Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On Jersey Girls, Writers and Social Media

As a writer, I spend a lot of time cultivating a professional online presence. This blog, which doubles as my website. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. LinkedIn. In general, I try to follow the standard rule of thumb: don't put anything on your page you'd be embarrassed for your grandmother to see.

As I'm old enough to be a grandmother myself, that's not usually too difficult. I have no desire to post things that are vulgar or graphic, and I try not to post things that I suspect will hurt other people's feelings. 

Lately, though, I've been feeling passionate about a lot that's going on in the world. Perhaps it's the stage of life I'm in. As the parent of a young adult, I look at a lot of things through the lens of how it will affect her and her future. As an instructor at a college, I urge my students to view things through this lens as well. And I feel the need to speak out about things that bother me, whether it's to spread the word, express an opinion or spark conversation and inspire critical thinking.

Toward that end, I keep separate personal and professional Facebook pages and I try to keep politics off my professional page. But Facebook is something of an open book, making it easy to be found, and there is tremendous crossover between my friends (real world and Facebook) and my readers.

The other day, as I scrolled through my personal page to find a post I'd put up more than a month ago, I got to take in the big picture. As I moved past posts about education, equality and health care intermingled with silly Facebook quizzes, family stuff and humorous videos, it hit me.

This page is me. It clearly represents what matters to me in terms of people and issues and life. As such, it accomplishes exactly what the Dag Hammarskjold quote above describes.

Which is what I aspire to.

Toward that end, I'll continue to keep separate personal and professional Facebook pages, with my writer page being an island of books, writing and things relevant to those two topics. My Twitter feed is a mix of the personal and the professional, with what I hope is an undercurrent of respect. Pinterest is just for fun -- all pictures, no politics -- and LinkedIn is purely professional. Somehow, I seem to have achieved a social media presence akin to a conservative financial portfolio -- one where I don't shy away from risks, but rather, make sure my risky investments are counterbalanced by safe ones.

I hope you'll join me online in whatever location interests you most. More important, I hope you know that I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my work, and that I will do my best to make sure maintain a tone of respect wherever you may find me, regardless of any difference of opinion or point of view.

But, as a 50-something Jersey girl, I just can't stay silent.

No comments:

Post a Comment