Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Think Before You Tweet

Do you think before you tweet? Since twitter is hitting mainstream like wildfire, must we be a bit more careful of what we tweet? A year ago, my tweets were only read by fellow tech ed folks that I found through others on twitter. I needn't think too much about tweeting anything incriminating. Over the course of the year, I've developed more links to tweeters closer to home and real life. Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I think all previous twitter followers were not real....it's simply that it brings a different mindset to tweeting when you know others from your district, school, or personal life are reading your tweets.

During an admin meeting a couple of months ago, I tweeted, "feeling like I'm beating my head against a brick wall." I got called on it by one other administrator in the room who tweeted back to me and asked why I felt that way. This person doesn't tweet very often and hasn't since that meeting. I'm not sure why she decided to check that day, at that very time I tweeted the comment. It certainly was a reminder that everything we tweet (or blog) is public and assume that it will be read by anyone and everyone.

Unfortunately I learned from this incident that I have to be careful and bite my tongue in the twittersphere just as I would face to face. Don't we sometimes have thoughts and opinions that aren't politically correct in the sense of one's employer, employees or colleagues? Should we be allowed to express these ideas freely without worry? Some things we know we have to do in the work place because that is our role, our jobs as leaders or models in the educational community. Or even better yet, our livelihood. Is this the reason that education is so slow to change? Are change agents afraid to speak up?

I'm sure I'll find a new balance in my tweets. I hope that doesn't mean reserved without the ability to express my thoughts at all. Time will tell how many of us will handle this public eye under the scrutiny of twitter moving mainstream.

Happy Tweeting.