You are who you tweet

About six months ago, my brother-in-law asked me, “So, what is sac hat?” More importantly, he tweeted the question to me. Many of us in student affairs spend various holidays explaining to family what it is we do for a profession. I was now trying to explain to my brother-in-law what I tweet about my profession. For him, #sachat was just good fodder for ribbing me. For me, #sachat has become my go-to place for collaboration, learning, and professional development.

Therefore, in tribute to the theoretical framework I used in my comprehensive exam for my Master’s degree many years ago and to pay homage to the #sachat community, I offer my application of William Perry’s Stages of Twitter Development (I am truly sorry, Bill):

Dualism
(Me, early 2009) Twitter sounds ridiculous. It is just people telling other people what they had for breakfast. Isn’t it really just Facebook updates? What’s the point? I’ll stick with Facebook. All of my family and friends are on Facebook.

Multiplicity
(Me, March 2009) Okay, so I hear a lot of my students talking about Twitter. That’s great for them. I’ll create a Twitter profile, but I don’t see the big deal. I follow about 30 news organizations, which feeds my news junkie side. But really, what would I use this for?

Relativism
(Me, late 2009) I searched “academic advising” and came across a few other advisors on Twitter. That’s pretty cool. This @EricStoller called me out for not including student affairs in my profile. Apparently, I have a lot to learn. Maybe I can connect with a few other student affairs types on here. Whoa. What is this #sachat thing?

Commitment to Relativism
(Me, March 2010) Ok, I just got more out of a conference than ones I have actually attended, and all of it by just following #naspa10. This #sachat is amazing. There are so many student affairs professionals. I now have to figure out these lists things, given how many people I am now following. We’re talking about first year experience and orientation and professional development. So many ideas flowing, and hilarious people.

So, Tom and Debra, thank you. Thank you for providing an environment where I have moved from clinging to the wall, to tapping my toes, to busting a move right under the disco ball. I have connected with amazing people and ideas. I have received books in the mail from Teri, skype conversations from Rey, and LOL direct messages from Eric and Stacy. I have been inspired by so many, including some incredible women like Julie and Cindy. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and I am looking forward to all that’s next.

As @tbump once shared (via @scottmonty), “you are who you tweet.” Good to know, since I am now keeping some pretty amazing company.

12 thoughts on “You are who you tweet

  1. Niki, This is terrific! Very funny and yet so realistic in describing many of our experiences with twitter. Great job!

  2. I laughed out loud (really) when I read your post. #sachat has given me a renewed energy as a professional and has provided more professional development than years of conferences have!

  3. This is FABULOUS! I think you nailed it. I recall having many similar thoughts about Twitter just earlier this year (I can’t believe I had a life without #sachat prior to #NASPA10). Thank you for capturing and posting this, Niki. You inspire me daily!

  4. I guess I’m just not sure if we’d call this theory to twitter, or twitter to practice. Either way, great post, I plan on RTing!

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