A month of tweets

In September, I tweeted every weekday (plus a weekend recap on Mondays). Inspired by Tseen Khoo (half of the Research Whisperer) I joined The Leveraged PhD social media challenge. Thanks to Melanie Bruce for fun and thought-provoking prompts. Here are some of my posts over the month:

Despite some pointed (and personal) criticism about why I might do such a thing, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Tseen reflects on the first 10 days here. Similarly, I found it a valuable way to get to know others outside the usual boundaries of work. I gained insights into the lives of people I know, and got to know new folk across the world. Here are some of my favourite posts:

A benefit of more Twitter time was exposure to interesting links. Here’s a roundup of what made me think/ wonder/ exclaim during the month of the challenge and beyond:

  • Women’s working lives in the managerial university and the pernicious effects of the ‘normal’ academic career (by Angela McRobbie on the LSE Impact blog):

“The ideal career track in the academy, especially one which carried all the laurels of prizes, awards, fellowships and a high volume of grants, seemed to have been tailored around the image of the brilliant young man untrammelled by any of the fine details of domestic life … Embracing the idea of ordinariness may be good for the soul, while letting go of the drive to succeed, or to get the perfect ‘balance’ in life and work, could mean inventing new ways of thinking about work.”

  • How I work and thrive in academia – From Affirmation, Not for Affirmation (by Beronda Montgomery on Being Lazy and Slowing Down):

“Even in the very last stages of my time on the planet, I imagine one of the most comforting things that I could hear from loved ones is the affirmation that I matter, that I executed my role in their life well … Academic environments simply are not designed as genuinely “affirming” spaces.”

“Universities have fenced ourselves off temporarily from critical conversations about the future of work because we have instead invested in the short-term promise that jobs are good, employability is our value proposition, and we’re not responsible for the impact of privileged lives on the lives of others.”

“Carers aware of the link between academic excellence and care-freeness often hide their carer status … Those who are more likely to fit the default figure of the ‘bachelor boy’ (i.e. a white, middle-class, cis-gender, heterosexual, male academic) are less likely to experience the tensions arising from combining care and paid work than those belonging to marginalised groups.”

A month of tweeting every day is indeed challenging, but I highly recommended a social media challenge. It brought the opportunity for self-reflection, connection with others and new ideas. The downsides were a glimpse of trolling and less time for blogging.




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