I love social media - this comes as very little shock to most people. So naturally, I talk about it and am asked about it at work. In my interview with the partner at the agency I'm currently working with, he straight out asked for my twitter handle and blog address. After a minor panic (and DESPERATELY trying to recall my last few posts in hopes they were tolerable and he wouldn't go too deep back into the archives) I handed over the information. I have no idea if he ever came here or checked into my twitter account. But I knew then it could get a little sticky.
It's not like I'm tweeting hateful, offensive tweets about co-workers or blogging disgusting topics. I'm not at risk of being fired for either of them. However, when tied to the job, I'm certain I've said things they wouldn't proudly slap on company letterhead. Which is fine, I'm comfortable with that. I have a personality and it's reflected on my personal accounts. Conversely, I have a work personality that is driven by the issues I deal with in my job. As much as the company wouldn't be interested in picking up my 3,000 tweets about cats, dogs, running and drinking wine in bed I'm also sure my personal twitter followers and friends aren't all extremely interested in food security, crop science, and the pros and cons of gestation stalls. They're very different audiences. And while I'm certainly not a celebrity or anything on Twitter, I have followers who have come to know "at-home Angie".
The last thing I wanted to do was become that person on Twitter. The one who only tweets SUPER safe, work-friendly, company promoting tweets that don't engage anyone in conversation beyond the potential co-worker retweet. I've followed some of those people (and soon after unfollowed them). That's not the purpose of my personal account. I've made real live friends (who I see and talk to in person now) from Twitter and it certainly wasn't because I posted links to articles and blog posts written by my company. It's because they got to know me, and I them, and we engaged like humans (crazy, I know).
However, there is absolutely a place for social media in the workplace. My current workplace prides themselves on it. I want to be one of the forward thinking users in the office. I used to have a protected account, and briefly considered going back to that. However, it seems so contradictory to the purpose of Twitter. So, last week I created a work account. I still stand firm in the belief that the purpose of social media is to connect and engage with other users, so that account will also not just be one way spitting things out into the Twitterverse. In fact I've already connected through that account. I reconnected with an old college friend. I'm in the midst of setting up a visit to a local dairy farm in an effort to get a better understanding of how farms work (this is my life now people).
Sidenote: if you are one of the few followers of "at-home Angie" who wants to know what I'm saying as "work Angie" you're welcome to follow me as I navigate this crazy introduction to the food space and world of agriculture @arnikolas.