Personally, social media has never been my jam. Hesitant to share too much, I typically take the cautionary approach of posting little.
My last name on Facebook isn’t even Dooley.
So when it comes to my professional online presence, I’ve been conflicted about how to share. It’s not the line between personal and professional with which I’m struggling, it is the saturation level of my personality in my digital identity as an instructional designer.
In my quest to determine how much personality is professionally acceptable online, I found some valuable advice from Cara North. In a 2019 blog post, she writes: “Authenticity is what makes you, you. Your secret sauce, your preferences, everything that makes you human.” This clicked with me. Professionalism is not separate from authenticity; I can be authentic and professional at the same time.
In my classroom, I am a professional educator but I am not without my personality. In fact, being myself with my students makes me a better teacher. It’s the same with my online presence. Authenticity earns trust. It makes my words more meaningful and memorable.
In that vein, developing my digital identity is a process. It will come more naturally in time. Thankfully, sharing online may be new to me, but who I am is not.
How does your professional presence reflect your personality?