I don’t follow people that protect their tweets.

I don’t follow people who protect their tweets. If I do then it’s a mistake.  I just don’t see the point in protecting tweets. Why would you want to? The best way to utilize the power of twitter is to be open. That is how you meet people here. That is how you meet outstanding educators here. That is how you learn through Twitter. That is how you become a better educator.
 If you protect tweets then you are closing yourself off from the power of Twitter. You are closing yourself off from meeting outstanding educators. You are taking the safe road and refusing to grow. Worse, you are making it harder for people to discover who you are. Why are you afraid?  Am I missing something?
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Posted on December 27, 2010, in Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I have one friend who doesn't want her crazy sister to read everything she writes as anything will be twisted and it's just a headache for her. Aside from cases like this, I agree with you.

  2. That is unfortunate. Has she thought of setting up 2 accounts? One for personal, which she protects and one for professional,which is open?

  3. I'm not sure she's into that, but I see your point.

  4. And doesn't it annoy you when people follow you and when you try to see who is that person and perhaps follow them too, you find a tweet protection?

  5. If I find a new follower that blocks their Tweets, I block them…

  6. Even tougher is the person who BLOCKS you so you can't even access them to try to follow. It only happened once but I have no idea where that one came from! I don't consider myself controversial and rarely tweet as it is.

  7. I'm guessing that people protect their tweets because they are making comments about their school district or other people they work with. In my school district, our technology integration parapro protects their tweets.

  8. I am relatively new to twitter. I value the learning and networking opportunities that I have already experienced. I protect my tweets because I use district-owned devices to tweet, and this practice is consistent with my district's technology policies.

  9. Thanks for your comment, Katie.

  10. I have just given advice to the many new Twitter users in our district and this is one of the key things I included. I think some equate protecting tweets to privacy on Facebook and they are completely different. Some of the other really basic things I reminded new users of include: include a profile photo, add a profile that includes professional information similar to what might be found on a school website, link to your blog or school / district website and also post several tweets before you start to follow so new contacts get a flavour of who you are and what you are intersted in.

  11. I have recently struggled with this topic when some of my students have inquired about “following” me on twitter. The open nature of Twitter still makes me somewhat uneasy when it comes to maintaining professional boundaries. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  12. Chris, I recognize your points and agree with many of them. Having said that I am new to twitter and am beginning to recognize the desire for openness and sharing. I am still trying to balance the professional and personal. I do have the 2 accounts and my work account that I use for tweeting with students is not protected but my personal where I tweet to other professionals is. I can see myself eventually changing this as I become more accustomed to what is for me a new social network but for now as I am exploring twitter I do like the extra protection.

  13. Hi Robert – I guess it does depend how you use Twitter. I find that my posts to Twitter are more than 90% professional posts. The other 10% are the kind of comments I would still be comfortable appearing on the front page of the local newspaper – this is always my standard – don't put anything on a social networking site that would embarass you if it was posted for the world. My use of Twitter is very public and very professional – and is very different than my use of Facebook which is largely personal.

    I think this is another good piece of advice for those using Twitter – don't say anything you wouldn't say in a staff meeting, in front of your students or to a meeting of parents.

  14. @johnnybevacqua

    Similar to my comments to Robert – I wouldn't post anything to Twitter that I wouldn't be comfortable being shared for the world. I don't think there is any problem is students following you – it is like students following your blog. Rather than following students – I would encourage you to agree on a # that everyone could follow on topics related to your class, team or school. This way you are not having to follow them but can stay connected on their posts related to school.

    I do see Twitter very different than Facebook – but that may be part of my bias because of how I use the tools so differently – one is almost exclusively professional and the other is almost exclusively personal.

  15. Hi Johnny, Thanks for your comment. I have my tweets unblocked. With an open twitter feed comes more responsibility, of course. The point of my post was to argue the best way to use twitter was to unblock. That will enable you to make connections you otherwise would never have made.

  16. A danger of “protecting tweets” is to then assume they are private – which could be very dangerous. The suggestion that protecting tweets might allow professionals to speak negatively about their employer etc. is very dangerous. This is a place where educators can be good role models – open and ethical.

    I realize the nervousness of new users, and the feeling that protecting tweets adds some security and safety as we become familiar with the tool – but in the end if you don't say things you shouldn't be saying – you have nothing to worry about.

  17. ChrisK, you made some very good points. Like you, I see Twitter (professional and public) differently than I see Facebook, although I think I do Facebook a disservice by dismissing the value of it on a professional level. I know several teachers that have a Facebook page for their school or school library.

    Katie, can you elaborate on your district's tech policies? I'm curious about why they allow certain aspects but not others.

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