Lots of people ask me why I like to share my ideas on social media. It’s a pretty simple answer. I get to share my voice with the world. Last summer after I presented at the ISTE conference in Denver, CO, I got my Twitter account. Everyone at ISTE asked me for my Twitter handle and at the time I was only sharing my work on Instagram.
When I got my Twitter, I worked hard to tell my message in 140 characters. At first, it wasn’t easy. I realized that using Twitter meant I had to synthesis my ideas and choose my hash tags wisely.
Almost immediately, I started getting lots and lots of followers. I was averaging about 1,000 followers a week! This was super surprising to me because getting followers on Instagram came much slower. I think that the biggest difference in my work on these platforms is two things: audience and message.
On Instagram, my posts are visual and even though I have a message that I write with the post, the picture or video has to pull my audience in. I am still learning what that means and how to do it better. On Twitter, the focus is on the tweet and even though I can add photos or videos, it’s the tweet that pulls in my followers.
Yesterday I finally got the courage up to make a LivBit I’ve wanted to make for many weeks. Usually my LivBits aren’t directed to anyone in particular, but this LivBit was made for my President, Donald J. Trump.
Maybe most people would wonder why I decided to make a LivBit for my President. I noticed that President Trump and I have something in common; we like to use Twitter to share our messages with the world. I started following my President’s feed, but after just one day of reading his tweets, I became very sad. The tone of President Trump’s tweets was very different and sometimes even mean. When I think about a President tweeting, I think about reading words that inspire the world. I do think that President Trump’s tweets take a stand, that kind of tweeting is something I can learn, but I think you can take a stand and still be inspiring and hopeful.
Part of being a good digital citizen is thinking about how your tweet will be received. I’ve learned that lots of times on social media people do not think about their audience. They tweet and post things that they would probably never say if they were face to face with someone. This is a problem because people don’t consider that posts and tweets can deeply hurt others.
Your tweets are like 140 characters of hope and they are a mirror to the world. Your tweets (and posts) tell the story of who you are, what you stand for, and define your identity online. Your tweets should be hopeful, kind, and true. They influence who wants to follow you and whether they like or re-tweet your messages.
I want to be the kind of kid who inspires other people on social media. I want to use my kid voice for good and be a light that shines out to others. I want people to see my work and say, “Liv is the same online as she is offline.” I want to celebrate others by liking and retweeting their posts so that they get feedback that helps them grow their confidence.
I want to be the kind of hope that other people look for on social media all wrapped up in 140 characters.
Keep reading, keep thinking, and, thank you for following LivBits.