A while ago I wrote a post about how life threateningly important it was to use two twitter handles. Basically the idea is that social is mainstream enough for parents, in-laws, and potential employers to stalk us on twitter. Sure we hear the horror stories and could set up a private account, but think about how good it looks to an employer when we’re posting relevant content, have a good understanding of who is in the industry, and maybe even interacting with them. This is the heart of the two twitter handle conundrum, many of us are using twitter to complement our professional careers, but there is also another highly inappropriate (in the context of work) side of twitter. There are all sorts of friends, joke handles, faux-personalities, and alter-egos that are just so much fun to follow and tweet stupid shit to. Hence, creating a personal and professional twitter handle so that the two don’t get mixed and lead to potentially very embarrassing or job threatening situations.
Well I have a confession to make. I decided to take my personal handle out back and put it down. It’s pretty embarrassing, considering I preached before about how managing two handles really was not that bad. I wouldn’t say I got rid of it because I got lazy, it was more that I was not really into a lot of what I had been using it for anymore and simply didn’t use it much. But my excuses are not what’s important. What is important is that I also found an alternative to the two twitter handle approach! If we can’t find time to manage two handles and can muster the self-control to not tweet stupid things (/uninstall twitter from the phone on the weekends), we can just make a PRIVATE list or two and put all of those stupid handles and friends in them without actually following them. That way, they don’t show up under our followers tab when we are upwardly mobile young professionals by day, yet all we have to do is click on the list to get our satisfying stream of obscene 140 character obnoxiousness by night. Brilliant!
Now for those of us that are frowning at the screen thinking, “duh…” I’m sorry. I honestly did not know lists could capture handles that we do not follow until a couple of months ago. It’s a really neat trick. I now covertly keep track of all kinds of things. I have music, friends, humor, and sports all under private list tabs containing a majority of un-followed handles. Why? Well, as a frequent raider of other people’s followings, I am very self-conscious about what is on mine. What questionable handles might be on yours? 😉
What do you think is better? two handles, private lists of un-followed handles, or making the sacrifice and not indulging in the darker side of twitter? Comment or shoot me a tweet @R_Steinbach.
Until next time, see you out there.