I had an interesting conversation with someone recently about how they used to enjoy my Twitter feed more before I became the spokesman for a politician. It was an eye-opening discussion in a couple of ways.
For a bit of background, my personal Twitter feed is @aribadler, but I also am the primary operator of the Twitter account for my employer, Speaker of the House Jase Bolger. That feed is @SpeakerBolger.
I thought I was doing a good job of keeping the two worlds separate, at least as much as you possibly can when it comes to social media. I have no delusions that what I post to both accounts can and will be used against me personally or in my role as the Speaker’s press secretary. So, I’ve been careful with what I’m posting to @aribadler, to make sure I’m not saying or doing anything that can be twisted on me. Of course, the political ideologues will always find a way to use every utterance out of context, but I’m basing my decisions on what reasonable people would think, not those blinded by political rage.
What I had not really considered was whether what I’m doing at work could impact my personal account. I haven’t done much more political ranting on @aribadler than I had in the past, but I’m sure some stuff has shown up there. I have put links to various news stories that I’ve been in on my Twitter feed and on my Facebook page. They weren’t there so much as a way to spread the message contained within, but rather as a way to show my friends and followers what I’ve been up to as a press secretary.
That’s why the conversation from the other night was so enlightening. I’ve been careful not to let comments from my personal world invade into my professional world, and yet I haven’t been as vigilant in the other direction. As this person said, she’s always enjoyed reading my Twitter stream because it was about a lot of things — some interesting to her and some not, some funny and some not. But, she said, it’s not going to be as enjoyable to follow me if I let too much political messaging seep in.
I’ve scrolled through my feed and haven’t seen too much more political stuff there than I had previously, but it does exist. So, I’m going to put up a better barrier — one that keeps my worlds from colliding not just on the work side, but on the personal side, too. I’m sure George Costanza from Seinfeld would agree that’s really for the best.
I’ll be honest… I don’t mind your political banter. I think what makes someone’s social media feed interesting is a well-rounded view of who they are. If it’s all political, all status-update-type messages, or all #lovelansing #lovemichigan #lovemyself whatever, it gets dull. I want to know I’m connecting with a human being, not a walking advertisement or a political bullhorn. Even when you’re talking politics, there’s enough about your daughters, your wife, your Jeep, and good PR practices to balance it out. You haven’t pigeonholed yourself.
Thanks Sara, I appreciate hearing that. I don’t think I’ve pigeonholed myself into any one particular type of tweeting, which hopefully is part of why a lot of people follow me. I think the wake-up call that led to this post was a good pre-emptive strike against doing just that though.
I liked the title of your blog. Reminded me of the song “When World Collide” by Powerman 5000. But not nearly as intense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsV500W4BHU