Small Wars Journal

The Birds of War: Twitter as a Professional Development Tool

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 2:54pm

The Birds of War: Twitter as a Professional Development Tool - The Angry Staff Officer

… Many military leaders shy away from social media platforms out of concerns for operational security and professionalism. Many of these concerns are valid, but it would be incorrect to assume that these concerns relegate social media interaction outright. Twitter offers the most bang for the buck, so to speak, for leaders who want to enter the social media fray. It requires far less personal information than some platforms, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, which negates some of the personal security concerns. Because conversations are limited to 140 characters, Twitter forces users to “think before they click,” a tactic encouraged by U.S. Army Social Media guidance.

Twitter’s greatest strength is that it allows free and open interaction between anyone, anywhere. Now while this can also devolve into never-ending, mindless battles with internet trolls (Hint: do NOT engage the trolls), a thoughtful and discerning user can navigate between helpful and divisive interactions. While the internet is full of trolls, it is also full of intelligent military users that want to further the professional dialogue. Twitter’s open nature means that you can interact with military personnel of all ranks, from all branches, from all countries, including retired veterans. There is no where else in the world where this is possible. For example, as a company grade officer, I could rarely have the open and honest interactions between field grade and  even general officers that also brings in enlisted personnel and veterans that I do on Twitter. Not only that, but authors, journalists, and war correspondents are there for engagement and discussion. This unprecedented access to people from all backgrounds promotes a broader view of our profession and develops important relationships…

Read on.

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