Beyond the fundamentals of Digital Identity and Leadership




Over the past few years, I’ve presented and watched many presenters give talks on social media and digital identity. I’ve presented to student leaders on different campuses on the fundamentals of digital identity and how they can use it to build community. I love this topic for so many reasons, as I try to implement these practices into my every day life as a professional and it gives me the opportunity to help my student leaders (RAs) create a sense of community within their own areas.  The way I see it,  we’ve evolved so far beyond the fundamental basics of what it means to be on social media and to have a digital identity. While there are some people who are not out there exploring the vast awesomeness that is social media, there are many professionals and students who are way beyond establishing their own identity.  The way I see it, we present subjects like so:

101: Social Media, a Primer

201: Social Media, Establishing you Own Digital Identity

301: Social Media, Can we Finally Do Something With it Now?

We can talk all we want about the fundamentals of Social Media, Digital Identity, and Leadership, but if all we’re doing is talking about it — we’re not making much use of these tools that we have before us, now are we? Nobody seems to be talking about the data that we can get from using such awesome social media tools, but I think that’s because we’re looking in all the wrong places.

Using Big Data from Social Media to enhance community

For all of you assessment geeks out there (it’s okay, you know who you are) – we know that we will need to gather the data and information that we get from our social media sites and use it to actually prove to stakeholders why we use it in the first place. When I gave presentations on the social media 101, a lot of people ask what is best for their communities/schools. Well, I used to reply and say: ask the students. The good people at Chapman University actually use numbers and analytics to show how their students/parents/alums are using their social media websites. Check it out here. Big Thanks to @SheriLehman for Tweeting this out.

Using Social Media to enhance community

Most of us know how to use social media for the good: advertising events, generating a quick assessment, or blogging about shared experiences. That’s all rainbows and sunshine, but we never think about the negative impacts that social media can have on our communities. Crushes and Confessions pages on Facebook are some good examples on how we need to take a negative (and often hurtful) situation and turn them into positive ones. If you ever find your students lurking on those sites, empower them to help someone out. If a student posts on the “Confessions” board that they are lonely  and/or are putting themselves in some sort of harm, empower your students to reach out and to say “let me know if I can do anything for your” or “here are some great resources on campus for you”. Granted, there might be different stipulations at different institutions/departments on how to handle these issues, but it’s worth a shot.


In what ways can we finally move beyond the fundamentals of Social Media? What is your Social Media 301?

1 comment

  • ammamarfo

    I like the setup you’ve described here- first, what is social media, second, who are you on social media? I think my 301 would be something to the effect of “what can you give to the world using social media?” Things like being able to share knowledge and using social media to share knowledge, giving back to the community by using SoMe for civic engagement (@AdamGismondi’s dissertation topic!), and other things like that.

    So happy you’re blogging again- really enjoying seeing how your brain’s working. Miss you girl!

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