Sunday, August 14, 2011

Does authenticity require snarkiness?

eric stoller and jeff lail

The title of this post comes from an #SAlive question during the episode from April 21, 2011 on Professionalism and Social Media. I found the episode extremely relevant, because I am still working out the tone of my new blog and have dramatically increased the frequency of my tweets during the past month or so.

There are a lot of personal opinions on the topic of professionalism and social media. I won't attempt to summarize the entire issue (@EricStoller and @jefflail host a fabulous discussion of the topic in this hour long video).

Back to the title, does authenticity require snarkiness? In the video, Jeff advised that "If that's who you are, just be who you are." Overall, I really enjoyed this video, probably because it confirmed my current beliefs (and who doesn't like being validated?). I try to use my Twitter account, blog, and Facebook profile in a culturally competent way. As long as I utilize my culturally competent lens while using social media, there shouldn't be any problems. Now this does leave a little room for mistakes, or things taken out of context. But overall, I think of myself as a good person, so my authentic tweets should have no problem portraying that.

So if you're in the mood for a little snarkiness, have at it! Use the lens of a student affairs practitioner to inform your content, and there shouldn't be any problems.

Of all professions, I think people who work in student affairs would naturally produce less offensive, more inclusive content without ANY list of Twitter Do's and Dont's - so what are we so worried about?