Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, many students are using more and more sources of social media. It has actually become an important part of some students’ communication with each other and faculty members. Facebook and Twitter connect students to each other through a platform that allows them to post on each other’s wall, tag each other in tweets or pictures, and make connections with old friends from previous school days.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is reserved for a more professional environment. This resource allows students, faculty members, and even paraprofessionals to connect in different directions. The goal of LinkedIn is to show readers the users’ profiles and find out who the users know; this way, both the readers and users can understand the connections that have been made across the board. People can play two roles in LinkedIn: a reader and a user.
- A user – anyone who owns a profile and connects to other people they know
- A reader – anyone who reads a profile, including potential employers or a user who owns a profile
In any case, if you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any others I haven’t mentioned (Blogger, YouTube, etc.), please realize the importance of maintaining your platforms of social media. We know how important this is because potential employers and your networks now can easily attain your profiles on any of these sources. The importance of social media differs in everyone, but Julie Meloni found that social media was important in the area of mentoring: https://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/mentoring-graduate-students-through-social-media-or-how-i-made-it-through-the-last-5-years/22731.
Also, think about making a profile here on PhDStudent so you can create another web presence for yourself. You never know – a future employer of yours could use PhDStudent to search for potential employees!