MY ONLINE PRESENCE

When I googled myself, I found that the majority of hits on the first page were actually associated with me! My ResearchGate, Facebook, LinkedIn and personal Instagram pages all appeared, along with a StageClip from my Masters graduation.

While I am happy that both my ResearchGate and LinkedIn profiles appeared within the first few hits, I’d love it if my professional Twitter and Instagram were more easily found. Whereas my ResearchGate and LinkedIn profiles are solely professional, my Twitter and Instagram let some of my personality shine through, and I think this is important to engage people and get my research noticed.

Having looked at my social media accounts, I’ve realised that I should be trying to keep a consistent presence on them and make sure that they are always up to date. Not only will this allow me to better present my research with others, but it will help me keep on track with new developments that other researchers are making in my field.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

For me, and I suspect many others, my relationship with social media has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. One day, I’ll find myself inspired by all the beautiful content that social media allows us to create, or basking in the huge amounts of information that social media allows us to share. The next, I might find myself sinking down the inevitable self-destructing hole of comparison, wasting precious hours of my time as I wonder why I’m not “as beautiful as her” or as “successful as him”. As a result, I am finding myself wanting to detach from social media more and more as the days go by.

However, I realise that social media, if used in moderation, can be a fantastic aid to PhD studies. Thus, since starting my PhD in October, I have really tried to focus on the positive side of social media. I know that it can be a place to connect with others, a place to learn about new developments in your field, or a place to share information about your research. However, personally, I’m not really sure where to begin …

Despite having an up-to-date LinkedIn account, setting up a professional Twitter, and creating an Instagram page to document my PhD journey, my use of social media in a professional capacity has been very limited. I have yet to put up my first tweet or my first post on Instagram, and I have struggled in finding other PhD students to connect with who are carrying out research in my field.

I am hoping that the “23 Things for Research” course will enable me to get the best out of social media, and show me how to use it in a way that will benefit my studies. I would love to be able to connect with others in my field, and hope that I will be able to engage a wider audience in my research.