Hi, my name is @jojo7415!

I wonder if this is how we will introduce ourselves in the near future, using our twitter handles or other various social media names. Many people already include these on business cards or websites. We see twitter names along side proper names on television and in magazines. It is becoming a part of our identity, of who we are. We are beginning to associate people with their social media identity. Twitter handles and names are beginning to become synonymous with each other. The question is; is this a good thing or a bad thing?

I have recently started listening to a podcast called Mohr Stories, starring comedian and actor Jay Mohr. In the podcast, Jay Mohr interviews and has conversations with other comedians, musicians, and actors. I find it very entertaining and funny, but what I found really interesting is that Jay repeatedly tells the listening audience the twitter handle of that days guest, and almost uses it interchangeably with the guests name. Jay, an avid “tweeter” himself, uses twitter to promote his podcast and his upcoming shows, and by continually using his guest’s twitter name helps them to gain more followers and do the same. This is what initially got me thinking about our social media identity and how important it is to our daily interactions.

Just this weekend I was involved with a comedy variety show here in Regina called Red Hot Riot, and the show featured a young up and coming musician named Danny Goertz. After hearing him play and realizing just how good he was, my very first question to him was, are you on twitter? Followed by, what’s your handle? I told him that I would love to help him get his name out there and help him to promote upcoming shows. Once again, I began to think about our social media identity and how it is linked to our daily lives and personal interactions. For entertainers like Jay Mohr and Danny Goertz, twitter and other social media such as Facebook and YouTube are natural ways to promote oneself, and they hopefully create a positive association between the social media identity and the actual person. But what about the negative associations?

The most recent example of negative association with twitter occurred last week with the crowning of the first Miss America of Asian descent. After she was crowned, the twitter-verse was bombarded with negative and outright racist comments about the new Asian Miss America. The article below gives a sampling of some of the horrible things that were said.

http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/61388585374/americans-call-first-indian-american-miss-America

This is a perfect example of how your twitter identity can have a negative association. People need to be careful of what they put out into the social media universe because once it is out there, you can not take it back. The thing that many people don’t realize is that you need to protect and uphold your social media identity just as much as you do your personal identity, because we are coming to an age where the two are interchangeable. In many ways, who you are in the social media world, is representative of who you are in real life, so you better be protective of that identity. If you want some tips on how to manage our social media identity, check out the link below.

http://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=12449

So what do you think? Is our social media identity the same as our real world identity? Will we soon be introducing ourselves with a name and a twitter handle? These are question I will continue to ask and examine as we move forward. That’s all for now, @jojo7415, signing off.

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6 thoughts on “Hi, my name is @jojo7415!

  1. I am reluctant to use my personal identity (real name) as my social media presence especially when posting personal things. I am not as concerned about posting professional things as this is not as personal and I seem to filter what I post. Not sure why it is different. It isn’t because I don’t want my comments to come back to haunt me or that I am embarrassed. But maybe I am scared of revealing too much on the web. I am giving an honest effort to get my thoughts out there for this class. I will have to wait and see if this continues past this class. I am mostly a consumer of info so seeing a name such as @jojo7415 may raise a red flag if I am looking for accurate, trusted information. An actual real name, maybe still a fictions name, seems to be more reputable. But, I am sure the people creating social media profiles might know this too questioning the intent of the user.

    • Thanks for your comment Greg. I think a lot of people share your reluctance to put themselves out there and cross over their personal lives and their social media lives. I think that many people come back to wanting some parts of their lives to be private and argue that some people share too much of themselves online. I happen to agree with this. It has always been my goal to strike a balance of sharing myself and my opinions on social media while still maintaining some privacy and keeping some things to myself.

      And just for the record, I would have preferred a twitter handle with my real name in it but of course all of them were taken so I went with a nickname and some numbers that have meaning to me, the result was @jojo7415. My real name is attached to my twitter account but not to my handle. Anyone can make up a name or a catchy twitter handle, to me it is the content of their tweets that is important.

  2. Your raise some interesting thoughts and questions in the world of education for sure!

    We are having a similar conversation with a group of educators in the Sun West School Division in Saskatchewan around digital presence and exploring how “clickable” we are.
    For many, the idea of being “found” on the internet is perceived negatively in the world of education, but Will Richardson has a different take on it: “I would go so far as to say that right now, you ought to make becoming “clickable” a part of your three-year plan and start working toward a day where much of your students’ and teachers’ work and, most importantly, much of your own work as an administrator is online, out there for people to click on, interact with and share.”
    Check out his entire article: You Need to be Clickable
    http://www.districtadministration.com/article/you-need-be-clickable

    I am clickable – and am careful about creating an online presence or “identity” that I would be proud to share with my kids, my parents and those I work with.

    The fact that people hide behind their online “identities” is something I believe we need to address in schools.

  3. I like the above comments. For our Eci 831 class I created a new Twitter account. I have a pervious account that has protected tweets that I use for my personal use that I have been using for a while now. I am going to try to use my additional twitter handle for class/educational purpose. I have protected tweets for my original twitter account because I am still unsure how to accurately network professionally with Twitter. I don’t have anything necessarily to hide on my original twitter but just want to learn more about networking before I drive right in, hence my one reason why taking the class. As the class progresses, I may choose to delete or deactivate one of the accounts.

    • Everyone has different comfort levels with social media like twitter and I completely respect that. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to have some privacy or wanting to be careful in what you put out there. The great thing is that you are open to the experience and will move forward as you see fit. I think the danger is when people are completely closed to it and are unable to see the potential value in social media. The trick is to avoid the pitfalls and take advantage of all the great things social media has to offer!

      Thanks for the comment Tina!

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