Should I Take a Selfie?

I’m really into social media. I’m not the best, I’m not a guru, but I love social media. I joined Facebook the day it opened at my college, one week before I graduated. Now that it’s been over a decade of Facebook, the world has changed. Twitter is the prescribed method for documenting the exciting things happening at my school, and Instagram has provided me with a platform to entertain my friends and enjoy pictures of things that are pretty. Social media is a huge part of life today for people of all ages.

When we started tweeting at my school (@davis_academy, #davis8, #davis7, #davis6, and so on…), there were workshops and rules, emails and tutorials. I had been using Twitter for years and had run social media for one of my previous jobs. But soon, I started having to examine my online persona.  Will parents be put off by my tweets? Is this post appropriate for our school / camp population?  Am I sure that this is how I want to portray my[self/school/camp] online?  

I have had a number of conversations with administrators about what and how I choose to post.  

I decided early in this brave new world to have a positive social media presence. No profanity. Anything sad or dark had to serve a purpose. I shared things about education, Judaism, and zeitgeist. I don’t use social media on Shabbat or Jewish holidays. If it would offend my grandparents (political disagreements aside), I won’t post it. Actually, I don’t get too political online, either.  

In the past year, I’ve gotten to a place for work that I occasionally post online for camp, and I often tweet things with my school hashtags. In my personal life, I tracked my #halfmarathontraining on Instagram, auto-linking to Facebook and Twitter with each offbeat mention of my #gymfashion and my beloved #fitbit. It’s been a little narcissistic, in an oversharing kind of way, I’ll admit, but ultimately, I am trying to be funny, engaging, and meaningful. In fact, I’ve been told by so many people that my posts are body positive, inspiring, and entertaining. If I’d been told they were annoying, I would’ve stopped. Friends of mine created a hashtag #itsSBBsfault to collect and tag my antics, and their antics that are inspired by me, such as crazy gym clothing and obsessive replaying of pop music.

In the past few months, it’s come to my attention that campers, staff, and students are finding me online, and since I don’t password protect my Twitter or Instagram on principle, they’re welcome to follow me.  I have nothing to hide, after all. (My Facebook, which is more personal, is much more closed off to students, alumni, and parents.) They’re joking about my excessive hashtagging (online, in meetings to my face, between each other) and I LOVE it.  

I refuse to close off my accounts. I’m trying to be a positive role model, if a little silly. I’m hoping that all of my posts along the way, with pictures of outfits and snacks and children learning will provide something happy and positive for everyone to enjoy.  And, when you’re happy and enjoying, remember –#itsSBBsfault.

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