Musings on my soft underbelly and social media
Blogs and social media have always been a bit of a double-edged sword for me. While I love debate, differing opinions, human connection and technology, I often feel like I don’t have much worth putting out into cyberspace, ‘cause I’m really nobody of special ability or insight, so who would even care? Right? Plus, like reservations students had in Hurley & Hea’s study in The Rhetoric of Reach, it’s forever out there, a piece of my intimate self. In a way it’s like a tattoo… I think they’re cool, I kind of want one. But how can I commit? Overly cautious, one might say, and I’d have to agree. I have reservations about being in the spotlight, putting myself out there for critique. That apprehension has never been worth the potential positive returns.
This is a hangup I’m consciously trying to move past. My current DIY personal improvement. All my life it’s seemed as though I’ve got a little mental project for myself (usually to get over something that I’m tired of being held back from) and this is it for now. Going back to school for an advanced design degree, critical eyes are everywhere and they’re nothing if not gleefully honest about their feelings. I’m determined to become comfortable exposing myself and my ideas and work to potential criticism and use it to improve, on my own terms. I’m deliberately showing how flawed I am, just to see what happens. Should be interesting, I think.
My experience with blog and social media in general has been mostly work-related, or simply as an observer and reader. I’ve created a few blogs in the past with intentions of using it in a diary-like fashion or as on online portfolio, but it was never an activity I was able to generate much excitement over. I’ve participated in Facebook (will you be my friend?) more than any other platform, but am getting into Pinterest (my mother is more of a Pinterest expert than I am, I think that says something) and am learning more about Twitter through my work. I currently contribute content to the UW-Stout University Library’s Blogger page, Facebook and Twitter accounts. I encourage you, especially as writers, to join these pages, there is such a wealth of resources available from the University Library.
As a graphic designer, my job has always been to craft messages. Writing goes hand in hand with the visual. Responsibilities to maintain social media and blogs often falls onto designers, at least in part, so I plan on becoming more blog-literate and active throughout this course, to take advantage of the opportunities these connections can make, both professionally and personally.