I don’t get to many Twitter gatherings, or tweet ups, because they’re often held in the evening when my husband works. I stay home with the girls, we have one vehicle, and the planets have to align correctly for me to attend. I’m working out ways to attend more.
My observation about tweetups (without going into about how they always seem to revolve around food): Twitter is an opportunity to be two things: who you are and who you are not. It’s an opportunity to create an image that is larger than life. Or it’s an opportunity to be yourself, foibles and all.
I choose the latter. I might post an old photo of me surfing, but, I do so because I am still that surfer girl and gosh darn it I’m only one size away from that swim suit. But I’ve met people at tweetups who are self-created master-of-the-universe effigies on Twitter but pretty insignificant in real life (IRL). Good manners keeps me from saying out loud, ‘So that’s it?”
As you get involved in social media, you’ll find the lines between personal and professional lives blur. You become a vessel of interaction for your employer, you are a “real” person on its behalf, you become a go-to person for those who have questions about your company or industry. And at the same time you also preserve and promote your own personality or brand on Twitter: I cook, I like to work out, I ride my bicycle (in the dining room lately), I heal from a burst Achilles tendon. I’m a mom, I’m a bus rider, I’m a Weight Watcher, I’m a wife. I’m a friend. All of these things are who I am on Twitter. That and an employee of HMSA, pro health care reform, pro Obama, pro let’s figure out how Hawaii and HMSA can help Hawaii become the healthiest state.
I don’t get being afraid of social media, but I’m willing to listen, and show people who might intimidated, how to get involved. I also don’t get Facebook Farmville or Mafia Wars. I grew up in New Jersey. We don’t need no stinkin’ pretend Mafia.