My wife and I had a conversation last night about social media. She was wondering aloud about how the constant performance brought about by Facebook and Twitter might effect a person, specifically, a younger person. I'm sure there are far smarter people who have broached this subject but as soon as she said it, I realized some behaviors I'd only recently picked up, specifically because of Twitter.I recently retweeted something along the lines of: "Twitter makes you love total strangers while Facebook makes you hate people you actually know". It was a funny, pithy observation but it rang true. To me, Facebook is a community place where I only accept requests from people I've actually audibly spoken to at least once while Twitter is the grand marketplace of ideas where all are welcome. And I've realized that I much prefer the latter. The act of discovery with Twitter, finding other like-minded people via retweets and the like, makes it something I check almost constantly while Facebook has become a place I check in with once, maybe twice a week, if I remember.
I also curate more than one twitter account. @mrjhandel is just me while @handelabra is for the company (and @gameminder as well). And I realized, after my wife mentioned the idea of the "performance" that I've been subconsciously censoring myself recently on Twitter. Why would I do this? Several of my recent follows @mrjhandel have seemed to come from @handelabra and I started to worry that some of my left leaning retweets might turn people away from the business and it is exactly this phenomena my wife was referring to.
Is your social media you - presenting yourself to the world as you are or is it *YOU!* - as you want the world to see and experience you? My initial foray into twitter was the former. I was just tweeting away, retweeting whatever deemed repeating. But then, I started to get people following me that seemed to come from the business side and I started to feel like maybe I needed to "play the part" of a more middle of the road, boring business owner. Something I failed to consider before this conversation was, maybe those people were actually following me. The me who actually had opinions. And maybe they like Handelabra because there's actually people behind it that have opinions. Crazy thought, I know.
But what really bakes my noodle now is - now that I'm aware of this, am I really going to go back to being me, or will being me just be a different kind of performance?
Tonight the part of @mrjhandel will be played by...