In general, I’m not a fan of social media.  I have an Instagram to show off the art I make to my sibling, but I don’t actively do anything with it.  No liking, hashing, connecting, etc.  I literally made it so they could see, because they asked me to.  So I post, and I never log in again until my next post.  By age, I am technically a millennial, and very computer savvy, so it’s not that I can’t….I just hate everything about social media.  Everything.  It takes a decent amount of muster to stay connected even in the blogging community, and I don’t really consider this social media in the ‘traditional’ sense.  To keep in touch I text, call, video chat, email, and hand-write letters.  No one else needs to know anything besides what I’m telling individual people.

So another prof told me today that ‘Prof. Person’ has a Twitter and it helps get more exposure and helps them connect more with colleagues and students, and that I should consider doing this.  I found this kind of insulting.  I’ve been approved for $1.4million in funding in just the few years I’ve been here.  My first PhD student defended over the summer, and my next two will be in the next year.  They all have amazing jobs lined up.  Not counting the first year, I’m averaging 6 papers a year (now the impacts aren’t the greatest, but one per year has been in a very high impact for my field, journal).  I’ve also been submitting five patents per year, and I’m in communication with two groups about creating a start-up with some tech.  You’re saying this isn’t enough, and I need Twitter?  So I thought that maybe this is a service activity.  But then I looked at my service record and I’m definitely more involved than the average.

So I checked out Person’s Twitter.  It’s a lot of complaining about journals, touting themselves in areas that I don’t find impressive, and some personal crap.  In five years they’ve graduated one PhD student, have two decent funding grants (say $250k approval total), and, not including the first year, get three papers out a year with impacts about half of mine (we’re in the same field).  Now she is more social than I am so it’s easy for the department to give her public exposure to recruit students, and she does get good teaching ratings (mine are in the middle).  But that’s some fucking gall to tell me that’s the area I need to improve on.  I know that we are in a social media world, but I have exposure, people are recognizing me, and I’m getting shit done.  I’m probably taking this harder than I should be…..


2 thoughts on “Twitter

  1. There is no need to be on Twitter for professional reasons.

    I don’t think it’s evil incarnate that you’d have to avoid at all cost. People seem to enjoy the connections, shooting shit with likeminded individuals, but it’s not something one has to do. I spend time on my literary Twitter account because I enjoy the community (they are kind and funny), but it’s purely for personal reasons. I think Twitter is best when you find a community organized around a hobby/passion/interest and curate your timeline accordingly.

    If you are not drawn to Twitter, there’s definitely no need to do it, especially not for professional reasons. A vast majority of my colleagues (including me IRL) aren’t on it. It’s silly that someone would bring this up as a professional shortcoming.

    (Btw, I refuse to get on Facebook and will not partake in anything requiring a Facebook account.)


    • I can not do Facebook either. I have nothing against people doing these things, but it seems fake to me for some reason. As in, I can’t be authentic on it. If other people can, more power to them. I just couldn’t stand someone telling me that it’s a problem I’m not on it. I’m super cool with criticism, but not this criticism. I’m just waiting non-anxiously for the day that nearly everything occurs via social media….


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