In December I attended a session at a conference where the presenter talked about “leading by tweeting.” The facilitator professed that tweeting helps leaders and others establish a connection, to share their personalities and provide insight into our daily lives in a different way. Those who know me know that I attempt to stay on the cusp of social media and embrace the tools that our students use. I did say attempt, because I grew up in the western desert of Utah/Nevada minus electricity until I was nine years old, and without telephones until I was a in junior in college. OMG! Can you imagine life without a phone? Yes, we survived, and some might say most of us turned out okay.
All that said, in an effort to become more adept and progressive at social media and to be a student of our students, over the past year I have attempted to tweet more regularly. And just this week, I along with our leadership team attempted to educate our thirty-eight directors about Twitter, tweeting, and the lingo that comes with. The challenge that we proposed to each director was to become well versed enough to tweet the most important highlights from their department. Yep, somewhat of a challenge to say what you need to say in 140 characters or less.
Started in 2006 and now used by some 500 million individuals posting approximately 340 million tweets a day, Twitter is definitely worth tweeting about. At Tech alone, Twitter accounts for almost 80% of our social news mentions and shares.
We are all familiar with the adage you are what you eat. Since we often talk about social media and what we post, I thought I’d take this a step further and suggest that you are what you tweet. Yep, what we tweet says quite a bit about us. What I found is that the bulk of my tweets can be categorized into information I hoped to share, things that I care about, and ideas or thinking that is either thought provoking or just might inspire us into action. For example, if you took a look @LesPCook you will find the following information that I shared:
Employers, Students Brave Blizzard to Build Their Futures At Michigan Tech « CBS Detroit http://cbsloc.al/Xeo7JH
Or random tweets about something I had feelings or cared about:
Adison turned 15 today, graduated from a razor scooter to behind the wheel #getofftheroad
#naspa13 working on a college campus is a true gift and a privilege- pat whitely
Or provocative articles and interesting reads:
19 Things Remarkable People Think Every Day | http://Inc.com http://www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/things-remarkable-people-think-every-day …
Love this article! Four Sure-Fire Ways to Motivate Your People, And Dinner With You Isn’t One of Them | LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131104192204-86541065-four-sure-fire-ways-to-motivate-your-people-and-dinner-with-you-isn-t-one-of-them …
15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy http://worldobserveronline.com/?p=30
Fourth Grader’s Essay on Marriage Equality Goes Viral, Earns National Praise | Parenting – Yahoo! Shine http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/4th-grader-s-eloquent-defense-of-marriage-equality-183606683.html …
College Degree ‘Most Important Investment’ Students, Parents Can Make | University Business Magazine http://www.universitybusiness.com/news/college-degree-most-important-investment-students-parents-can-make …
By now you probably have a sense of what @LesPCook is about. If not, I invite you to follow me. I heard a funny quote about Twitter: “On Twitter we get excited if someone follows us. In real life we get really scared and run away.” Twitter is similar in many ways to other social media outlets, you can sign up for an account and never use it or you can easily become absorbed in it. It doesn’t replace the face-to-face contact so essential to relationships and our beings, but does provide another outlet to share, communicate, and afford us additional opportunities to learn about people and our world. It has been said that Twitter is not a technology, it’s a conversation and it’s happening with or without you. Just like what you eat for lunch, it’s a choice and you get to decide if you want to be a part of it.