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Twitter Ethics 101

"Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you are saying"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mr. Emerson's quote has always been a favorite of mine.  If Mr. Emerson was here today he might say "What you TWEET speaks so loudly about who you are I can't hear what you are saying."  Twitter is a powerful and wonderful tool for educators.  I firmly believe that we should all be taking ownership in defining our online presence, otherwise someone else will.  I would like to share my top 10 Twitter tips that have helped me define who I am in a respectful, ethical and positive manner.

**PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THIS LIST**  

10. Be Humble

  • Say us more than me and we more than I in your tweets and you'll be just fine! 

9.  Build Trust

  • Be honest, respectful and sincere to fellow tweeps.  Follow the Golden Rule!
  • People don't follow those they cannot trust 

8.  Have a Sense of Humor

  • Twitter is fun- enjoy it! 
  • If you can't agree to this one go directly to #1 and double check :)

7.  Follow Drama

  • Twitter is not about how many followers you have- it's about developing relationships with people who you feel you can relate to and have something in common with. 
  • Don't feel pressured into following someone who follows you, or don't take it personal when someone you follow doesn't follow you back. 

6.  24 Hour Rule

  • Don't feel you have to respond to all tweets, blog posts or questions right away
  • If you want to respond to something on twitter that you feel is important: take 24 hours to think about it, discuss with others if necessary and then respond-it should be no different than making an important decision in your daily job.
5.  2 Wrongs Don't Make a Right
  • If you feel someone has committed a personal foul aka "untwitterlike conduct" towards you via a tweet- take a deep breath and refrain from firing back an equally offensive response (remember: twitter is public-everyone will see what you tweet)
  • Advice: type out a passion filled tirade on a word document, print it out, read it, rip it up and slam dunk it into the trash!  Feel better? 
4.  Reciprocate
  • The teaching profession is isolated enough-twitter is a dialogue, not a monologue.  
  • When you feel comfortable begin to tweet your thoughts in a chat, join a twitter book club, share links, great things going on at your school, or comment on someones post or blog
3.  Give Credit
  • If you find great stuff make sure to give the owner credit.
  • RT great tweets you think will benefit others
  • Share links & blogs you find interesting and let the author know it
2.  Say Thank-You!
  • When asking for advice or help make sure to thank people publicly on twitter. Also, take the time to thank people who RT your tweets and follow you.
1.  Be Human
  • It's OK to occasionally let people know you have a pulse-sharing a proud family moment, or a great time you had on vacation, etc...
  • You don't want someone on twitter to see you in a grocery store and act shocked because they thought you lived at school (oh forgot, that's what our students think :)

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