Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

Transition from college to work. Thor and the things that nobody told you!

August 13, 2021

There’s been so much written about the beautiful years of college.

However, many seem to forget to tell you about the transition from college to work and how it can impact graduates on their mental health.

So, you’re right there in the final semester, you can even see the silver lining but now let me guide you through the turmoil of emotions that are coming your way!

Once you get your final results you will feel like the new Steve Jobs (or Thor), flooded with emotions of achievement and pride. The world is your oyster!

My Advice:  Write yourself a note to remind you about this wonderful achievement and how it made you feel (because ……you’re going to need it later!).

Now here are the three main stages that I experienced:

Round 1: Post-Graduation Depression.

It’s been years studying late at night, meeting up with your team for projects, many reports submitted, and so on. And now what?

You might start feeling stagnant, anxious, or even depressed. This is when the grieving process begins, grieving for a period in your life that is gone.

My advice:

Give your brain some time to adjust to the new situation. Accept those feelings and let them go.

Round 2: The Job Hunt & Rejection.

Once the post-graduation depression is over, you might start with the job hunt filled with ambition and passion. Your resume is the hammer to your inner Thor!

But here is when the rejection game happens. You might apply for five jobs a day and get ten rejection emails in exchange (ok, those maths don’t work, but trust me, it will feel like that).

The brain will wander and the negativity will set in and a possible guilt trip will start. Am I not good enough? Why didn’t I go to the career services in my college? And so on.

My Advice:

Don’t take the rejection personally. Take a day or two when it gets too much to reconsider your approach and adjust.

Also here is the moment to read the note you left for yourself when you finished your degree, and remind your inner Thor that you’re the God of Thunder, the All-Father and King of Asgard, and Son of Odin (well maybe not that, but you can try with the God/dess of TikTok, The All-Father/Mother of Buddy (your dog), king/queen of your cul-de-sac and son/daughter of Finbarr & Mary!

Round 3: New Job & The Imposter Syndrome.

Eventually, you get a job, and just when you think the whirlwind of emotions is all gone, here is when the final round kicks in.

Do you feel like you don’t know what you are doing? Do you feel like everyone else is smarter than you?

Don’t worry, it happens that often this “feeling” or condition even has a name, ‘the Imposter Syndrome’. It is based on an internal belief that you are not as good as others perceive you to be.

My Advice:

Avoid comparing yourself to others and be brave enough to question your own thoughts. Most likely they are not real, but just that little voice in your head.

Now, and after all this experience I am proud to say that I got the job that I wanted.

Just one week in Fuzion Communications and I already realised the great value the company places on being brave and ambitious. Which it is exactly what my inner Thor taught me during my journey.

#WinHappy as we say in Fuzion!

Patricia

Patricia Perera is a very bright, insightful and intelligent person who has just joined the Fuzion Communications team and begins her career, starting as a Communications intern with a fantastic future ahead!

Note from editor:

Thank you Patricia for reminding us what it is like for anyone at the beginning of their career, trying to get a start in a fog of disappointments.

Starting a new job during the pandemic!

June 16, 2021
Sarah Hayes - Fuzion Communications


So, you’ve made the decision to leave your job and start a new venture from home during the pandemic?

Firstly, congratulations!

Making the leap from one job to the next is never easy but particularly when you’re starting from your home. It adds another dimension to first day nerves knowing that you may not meet your new colleagues for weeks or maybe even months. Of course, working remotely has its benefits and comforts – particularly, when you have the support of your family and friends quite literally around you but it’s certainly different.

I’m a good few weeks into my new role with Fuzion Communications as a Junior Account Manager and thought I’d put together some tips that I’ve learned on how to start a job remotely during the pandemic. So, whether you’re someone who’s like me – just having started the job – or you’re thinking about making the leap, then this one is for you.

Tip number one – dress to impress:
It’s definitely something that sounds obvious but we might forget – make the effort and dress to impress when you start. One of the biggest aspects that I’ve found is trying to figure out the culture of a company without the luxury of having a desk buddy to guide you. Start as you mean to go on by popping on that nice blouse or blazer – not only will it make you feel good but it’s easier to have to dress down than up once you figure out the dress code of an organisation with working from home.

Tip number two – set up one to ones with your new team:
I think one of the biggest downfalls to working from home when you’re starting a new job is that you don’t get that personal time or kitchen chit-chat with your new colleagues. So, I’d definitely recommend setting up one to one calls to have a non-work related chat with your new colleagues. Fortunately, Fuzion was fantastic and had these set up for me before I even started and they truly made all the difference. If it’s something your manager hasn’t organised for you, take the initiative and do it yourself – grab a cup of coffee and get to know the people you’ll be working with!

Tip number three – keep your camera on:
You might be coming from a culture where having your camera off is the norm but when you’re starting in a new job, I’d highly recommend keeping that camera on. Let your new colleagues get to know what you look like and make sure to always introduce yourself on calls. It can be pretty daunting because as we all know, Zoom calls can be hectic but make your presence known. I’d also suggest putting a profile photo on your emails so that other people in the organisation can get to know you too.

I think the general theme that I would say is important when you’re starting a job from home is to be proactive – organise those calls, turn your camera on, make your presence known and most importantly, be proud of yourself because starting out anywhere new is difficult… never mind from the home! Give yourself time to settle in and just observe your colleagues in order to get to know the culture of your new organisation.

Good luck in that new job!

Sarah

Sarah Hayes is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, who has recently joined us from Tourism Ireland.

When passion meets work, work becomes a hobby!

June 8, 2021

Ever since I was a young child I loved creating things.

Drawing pads, colouring pencils, glue and scissors were my best friends. I was one of those kids that was never bored and always felt like there weren’t enough hours in a day to do everything that I wanted to do and bring all my crazy ideas to life.

I was keeping myself occupied making cardboard furniture for Barbie dolls, big cardboard houses, cars and trains for me and all the kids living in the apartment blocks nearby. I even made sure that each of them had a name and badge like real cars did, except they were all made up by me. When I think of it now, they were very similar to the cardboard colouring houses that a lot of supermarkets were selling lately to keep children busy during the lockdown. If there was such a thing as Covid back then I would have made a fortune on them!

When I was 10 I started making exercise books for young children. They included colouring pages, crosswords, handwriting exercises and anything else I could think of. I used to “design” and draw every single page of the book by hand and get it photocopied so that I could give a copy to all my neighbours with young kids.

When I got older I got more into drawing, painting and writing. I have a collection of short stories and poems that I wrote as a teenager. My creativity had no limits and I had this never-ending urge to express it in every possible way.

My brain never takes a break and is always “on the go”, constantly coming up with new ideas. I wish my body didn’t need any rest so that I could work on them and bring them to life as soon as the light bulb lights up in my head. It’s so frustrating when you want to do so many things and your body refuses to cooperate!

When I was finishing secondary school and needed to pick a career path, I had no doubt about what to choose. I picked the Visual Communications course in Cork Institute of Technology and loved every single minute of it and when I say every single minute I really mean it… that also includes all the sleepless nights that I spent working on college projects in order to meet the deadlines. Nothing beats the feeling I got the following day when I was treating myself to a delicious hot chocolate, minutes after handing in the project that I worked on until 5am that morning! It felt good because I knew I put all my heart into it and the satisfaction I got out of it was stronger than the tiredness. 

I always knew that whatever I end up doing in life, it will have to be something creative, and so, the exercise books that I used to make as a child turned into brochures, annual reports and all kind of booklets. The cardboard cars turned into innovative signage solutions and the made up car badges’ turned into powerful and professional brands that serve clients for years. I turned my life-long passion into a way of living and the fact that it brings me money is like winning a lottery. 

I love bringing clients’ ideas to life and seeing their excitement when what I’m giving them is exactly what they needed and more.

Graphic design is a combination of art, creative thinking, problem solving and a little bit of mind reading!

As a designer you really have to tune into the client’s thoughts to figure out what they’re looking for, and a lot of the time they don’t even know what they’re looking for until you show it to them! Getting it right the first time is the best feeling ever and to get it right the first time you have to truly love and enjoy what you do. If you put your heart into something you can never fail.

Make sure that whatever you do in life, it sparks your soul and makes you feel alive.

#WinHappy

Martyna

All Figured Out

May 21, 2021

Your 20’s are strange years, some of my friends are still in college finishing their degrees, others have great jobs in different counties and countries, and a few have brought beautiful children into the world.

Although I’m only three years in, the most prominent learning of my 20’s is that there is no clear path to adulthood.!

People change, which includes careers, families, relationships and interests. I don’t think there is one single point in anyone’s life that signals you’ve entered adulthood, but believe me when I say alarm bells were ringing loudly in my head when I noticed I was receiving Dunnes Stores Clubcard vouchers in the post!

We seem to be under the impression that a simple age cutoff such as turning 18, or a celebration like a college graduation should make us feel like adults. After all, there are certain privileges that come with crossing those thresholds, the right to vote, to purchase alcohol, drive a car etc. Why do we assume that the years between 16 and 23 are the years that you must get everything set up for the rest of your life to fall in place?

I was given my first car when I was 16, a Ford Ka, a beautiful piece of engineering if you ask me.

Before even completing my first driving lesson, I was signing myself into a contract with an Insurance company for a comprehensive package coming in at €3,200 for the year. I remember the monthly payments cost €260, all my hard earned money was gone into insurance for a car that was probably worth €400! Hindsight is great though, now I can look back and be proud of myself for being able to learn to budget from a young age and manage that considerable outlay. I should really write a letter to Axa and thank them!

I know people say they don’t have it all figured out either, and that you shouldn’t worry about the future but it’s difficult when there seems to be such a structured way of doing things. School – College – Job – House – Husband – Child, it just doesn’t seem like a chain that should be broken when you’re at this age.

I love that people are learning to rebel against the ‘rules’, going back to education at a later age, not buying a car because public transport suffices, having children when they feel it’s the right time and so many more examples.

There is no clear path to adulthood and from what I’ve learned so far is… not to worry!

Everything will fall into place, I might be biased because I’ve only recently downloaded ‘The Secret’ on audiobooks so I’m really trying to stay positive about everything!!!

You should try to be too…

Heather

Heather Lordan is part of the Marketing and PR team at Fuzion Communications

Heather Lordan

How I survived a year of Working From Home!

April 16, 2021

Many of us have a variation on the story now, but in March of 2020 I found myself working from home as a full-time employee for the first time. I make the full-time distinction as I had worked for myself and on my own terms for a few years, but this was different.

Or was it?

In actuality it turned out that the lessons and good habits I had developed prior to re-joining full-time about 6 years ago, were very much still applicable.

When we decamped to our home workspaces in March of 2020 “for a few weeks” we weren’t to know what a paradigm shift it would be. At Fuzion, we had to hit the ground running as some of our clients became extra-busy, especially our design clients, so there wasn’t a lot of time to adapt. Luckily there were some quick hacks that could be applied to make for a productive and positive work from home situation. Here are some of my favourite tips that allowed me to survive and thrive in a year of WFH.

Segregate your work and home life, even if just in your head.

After all, how do you avoid bringing work home, when you work from home? Little mind-hacks can be a great help. For example, you can create a home mood or a work mood, through use of light and sound. I’ve back-lit my Mac, which is only on during work hours and I have taken our Fuzion Design favourite radio station BBC Six Music with me, which I only play during work hours.

After all, Techno Tuesday is great for focus and it just may save your life. When it’s time to stop, the Mac goes off, the lights change and I swap the radio for a playlist or TV.

A Good Workspace is Key.

Many of us kicked off last March on sofas or at kitchen tables. Try and avoid this, get a desk that you can keep just for work. Use a comfortable chair, that you can roll away at end of day. Pay attention to ergonomics as you’ll be sitting there 8 hours a day. Keep your workspace minimalist and uncluttered, distraction free. Apply the same to anything in your peripheral vision, if you can.

Remember to Stand.

Your back will thank you and your focus will thank you. Heck, if you have to, do as Haruki Murakami said and Dance, Dance, Dance. Especially if it’s techno Tuesday. Who’s to stop you? (Magic Carpet Ride by the Mighty Dub Katz is on the radio as I type, be right back).

Choose to Commute.

Take a walk in the morning or the evening straight after work. As much as you might think you don’t miss a commute, the post-work exercise helps reset your brain. Take a camera with you so that you’re always watching out for a good photo and engaged with and interested in your environment, even if you walk it every day. That’ll also help you stretch your eyes after a day of staring at a screen. Some days do the route in reverse! Every bit helps.

Keep good work practices.

Filing, admin, communication. Manage and track your time, keep notes to mitigate the COVID brain fog. Use tools that suit your new work environment. Whether for note taking, collaboration or file transfer. Don’t have a NAS server? Use Google or Dropbox or other collaborative file sharing tools to ensure that your shared files remain in a central location and are always up to date.

Have a department chat group or Slack (we use Google Chat). It’s great for quick questions or a bit of idle chit chat (not to be underestimated).

Get up, get dressed!

Get dressed for work every day, even if you’re only going to be seen on Zoom. If you have to plan what to wear the night before, you’ll instantly feel organised the next morning. Pride in your appearance is great for instilling some positivity and good for your mental health. The ritual of getting ready is familiar and helps you get in a work frame of mind. Don’t worry too much about dress code, but dress in a way that makes you feel good and ready to have a good day.

Watch your breaks

Have a good breakfast and stick to your lunch breaks. Taking breaks is important, even if to stand up and step out of the room. Don’t overdo the breaks either, remember you are at work and if you’re a designer too, you’ll know it ruins that sense of flow we so often need.

Don’t be a hermit

Network, stay in touch with peers, whether via social media or otherwise. Use organised feeds to ensure you’re getting enough good news and inspiration. Avoid doom-scrolling on social media by making lists that you can check in on. If you’ve to catch up with a colleague, take a few minutes extra and do it by video, studies have shown the positive effects of that level of human engagement (see wired article TBC). Even a short DM chat to touch base with a colleague can help your team grow.

Make time for the team. At Fuzion we have a semi-formal Monday morning catch up and briefing. At week’s end it’s Fuzion Friday – which is as informal as you get and a nice way to finish your week. When you’re out for a walk, arrange to meet a friend for a coffee or a chat, even just to feel normal. Especially if you live alone. Just because you’re WFH doesn’t mean you have to be be a hermit.

Be flexible.

For some people. Standard office hours won’t always work when you’re at home. Small people (children) and home life can interrupt. Plan your work when it’s practical, even if that’s earlier in the morning or later into the evening. Enjoy the flexibility, rather than fighting against it.

Take pride in achieving that balance.

Sh!t Happens

Remember, sh!t happens and it’s rarely the end of the world. If the server goes down, your Zoom will only show you as a cat, or a colleague can’t find files at the last second, don’t sweat it. You’re all doing brilliantly. We ARE all in it together. Stay positive. Positivity is contagious.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk!

Mark

Mark Kenny is a Senior Graphic Designer, part of the Graphic Design team with Fuzion Communications who provide a full print and digital design from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Why is having a sense of purpose so important?

March 15, 2021
Joe Caslin - IACP Mural

Why is having a sense of purpose so important?

What is ‘purpose’ and why is having one so important? Purpose can be described as the reason for which something exists or is done, made, or used.

To me, I don’t think anyone has a set purpose for their whole life, I think it changes throughout our lifetime, naturally changing as our life ebbs and flows. I see purpose as both striving to achieve a goal and a specific outcome but also enjoying the journey while you’re on it, working towards something but enjoying what you hope you will someday achieve.

Working on your ambitions and personal goals while also potentially changing the lives of other people, is one of the reasons I enjoy what I do. Feeling like the work you do has a purpose and a meaning is one of life’s greatest joys.

I’m a strong believer in manifesting what you want in life, and last year, when I began my journey with Fuzion I wrote down a goal of mine; to work with a mental health organisation. Being a big advocate for mental health myself, I wanted to feel as though I was doing some good and helping others as much as I could in my day-to-day life; any little part I could play.

Joe Caslin - IACP Mural

When we got to pitch to work with the IACP I knew it was an account I had to work on.

Working alongside them last year and launching their national ‘Look After Yourself‘ campaign was one of the highlights of my year. From team brainstorms to reaching out to strangers, with notes in their door to see if we could put a mural on the side of their house (we’ll do anything to get the job done, us PR folk!) to reaching out to Joe Caslin and seeing his vision of the campaign come to life in a mural on Montague Lane in Dublin was an exceptional moment for me and no doubt my Fuzion colleagues too.

This campaign sought to shine a light on men’s mental health, to break the stigma surrounding toxic masculinity and to encourage young men to see therapy as something they shouldn’t be ashamed of doing, and instead encourage each other to seek help if they need it.

There is no shame in asking for help, and although there is still a lot of work left to be done to break the stigma of therapy, we do hope this campaign started a conversation and even encouraged one person to seek help.

Not only did this campaign, I hope, help others but it also helped me achieve my sense of purpose. I would consider working on this campaign not only a highlight for me but the most noteworthy moment in my career thus far and I plan to be talking about it for years to come!

Michelle Harrison , Fuzion Communications

Michelle

Michelle Harrison is part of PR team at Fuzion Communications, working from our Dublin office

Choose to Challenge – International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021

International Women's Day - Choose to Challenge

On international Women’s Day 2021, there is a particular theme that was calling women to action with a very proactive ask, “Choose to Challenge” which came with an explanation:

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change – So let’s all choose to challenge!

With this “call to action” there were some other specific asks of women as outlined further in the IWD website:

How will you help forge a gender equal world?

  • Celebrate women’s achievement.
  • Raise awareness against bias
  • Take action for equality.

Within Fuzion we encourage a challenging environment for all of the team, which is part of our core values, Bravery.

In every job description that we write, you will see it written and to us it is an important attribute, every bit as important as the basic skill sets required for each role.

We challenge each other, our opinions, our views and our ideas and we will challenge our clients to think differently and not to be afraid to disagree when we believe something is going in a wrong direction – you get that with us!

So, with all of that in mind I asked the team to record an episode of the Win Happy podcast to mark this years International Women’s Day, to discuss the theme and the different elements and to see how they felt about them.

For the record, I did offer to pass the hosting duty to anyone else and in the spirit of Fuzion, everyone, male and female were invited to participate but due to workload issues (and maybe a little shyness!) this episode featured Dee (Deirdre Waldron), Suzanne Meade and Niamh Lawlor who are all part of our Communications team.

The conversation was really interesting and revealing.

The team loved the “bold” call to action and spoke about how women can often be more reluctant than men to challenge.

They spoke about emotional leadership, a huge strength that women can bring to any organisation, Dee’s work and initiatives as President of Network Ireland, the huge role of mothers and friends as influencers, that men should be part of the conversation and not excluded, and thankfully they have not experienced bias in their careers.

However, they did acknowledge that the industry that we operate in might lend itself to that.

It makes for good listening.

Click on the link here or search for Win Happy on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts – we will be there!

For the record, some of the very best people that I work with are women and if I thought for a second that they were not prepared to challenge there would be something very wrong.

Just this morning on our weekly “hello” Monday morning team Zoom call, we had a very robust conversation about an opinion that I shared and they came at me in force!!

….if I told you what it was, I could have a busy day getting nothing done except arguing!

So today, I salute the brilliant women that I work with and the many brilliant women that I deal with on an ongoing basis. In particular, I salute my mum who is just incredible, such a positive driving force – you have no idea!

#ChooseToChallenge 

(you won’t find me wanting!)

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Body Image: The Covid-19 edition

September 17, 2020

Body Image

At the start of Lockdown I set myself loads of goals including trying to lose ten pounds in two weeks and dropping a dress size in one month.

When these inevitably didn’t work I challenged myself to drink 4 litres of water everyday and I got into a really bad habit of weighing myself everyday, hoping the scales would shift the tiniest bit to fuel my ego.

With so much idle time at home with nowhere to go and nobody to see, the only thing that seemed worth focusing on was bettering myself, and by that I mean my exterior, safe to say I wasn’t trying to improve my mindset!

All this extra time amounted to excess screen time. Endless scrolling through false realities, “Lockdown Glowups”, home workouts and low calorie meals was so damaging to thousands of girls/boys/women/men exactly like me.

TikTok was spitting out exercise videos at me as well as “two week transformations” with amazing results.

As Lockdown was such an isolating experience for everybody, we spent quite a lot of time with our thoughts: What you might have thought about yourself for a split second in February just got heightened by 1000% in April. Suddenly MyFitnessPal felt like my only pal.

To pass the day I spent my time entering the bowl of fruit I ate for breakfast into a calorie calculating app that constantly notified me that I didn’t weigh myself this morning and to “Jump On The Scales!”. The constant restrict-binge cycle was exhausting, but it was okay because my favourite “influencers” said it happens to them all the time (sarcasm intended!).

So as if people weren’t going through enough hardship with a global pandemic and all the frills that come with that, we were given mixed messages regarding health and fitness advice every day; There was – work from home, but don’t sit down all day, get out and exercise – but make sure it’s in your 5km radius and you should have no contact with others.

While at the same time we were bombarded with banana bread recipes, homemade cocktail ingredients and of course that thing that happened in the middle of all this that nobody seems to remember, Easter and those delicious yet deadly hollow brown eggs!!

After a few months had passed and the “new normal” had set in, the calorie counting stopped.

Safe to say at least 100 of the accounts I used to follow online have gotten a big unfollow from me, because they weren’t there for me when I slipped up -They were still drinking kale smoothies and getting their ten thousand steps everyday, while I faced my second serving of carbs that morning.

I asked myself, why would you follow someone who makes you feel bad about yourself?

I’ve learned that you can be healthy without weighing out your spinach, and I’ve learned that I don’t need to look like those girls we see all over our feeds, because that’s how they make their living and I just want to focus on living.

Be careful with who and what you follow..

Heather LordanHeather

Heather Lordan is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in both Dublin and Cork.

Internships during Covid19

August 31, 2020

Finishing college and entering the workforce is a difficult time in general. Throw in a global pandemic, widespread job cuts and you’ve got yourself the Month of June for over 225,000 third-level graduates!

Trying to seek employment is tough, regardless of qualifications or stage of life.

I spent four years in college, writing reports, working on projects and completing modules with a lecturer always on hand to help. Then, all of a sudden on some sunny, yet wet day in mid-March, I get told to leave the college and go home.

Just like that, I felt robbed of my last year in college.

What I had been working towards for the past four years no longer seemed important. Online lectures, shared Google Docs, hours of sitting in the sun feeling guilty for not sitting in front of the laptop, was the reality of my last few months of education. The focus then was on getting it done. Getting my degree, which I had been so set on. The notion of finding a job only filled my body with anxiety, so I put my focus into doing the best I could to finish my course.

Having completed two previous internships, I am pretty familiar with expectations of the intern and the company. I think they are such a great opportunity, both for the student to get insight into the running of a business and for the business to seek and train new talent as well as getting some fresh insights and enthusiasm.

Throughout my time in CIT lecturers always mentioned Fuzion Communications, a full service PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork. It wasn’t until the end of July that it really clicked with me – Get a job you love, put some confidence into yourself and your abilities and email them!

My mam always told me growing up that I should pick a place I really want to work in and get a job there, easy as that she said!

I have been interning with Fuzion Communications for almost a month now. Time flies when you’re having fun! Initially I thought it would be difficult working from home without being able to ask someone at the desk behind a quick question. However, fortunately for me I work in a communications company and the team here are more helpful and available to talk throughout the day.

Zoom has become my best friend!

Only having to wear office wear from the hips up is a joy. I couldn’t be happier with my first job after college. I’m learning more than I ever thought I could as an intern, and I’m really getting a taste of what a career in PR would be like.

Safe to say I’m very excited for what the future holds.

Heather JordanHeather

Heather Lordan is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in both Dublin and Cork.

Welcome to the Twitter Echo Chamber?

August 12, 2020

 

Pleasantville

BREAKING NEWS: Have Twitter officially gone crazy?

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature that will enable a user to limit who can reply to their tweet!

Have a peep at the bottom left corner of your Tweet window when you are tweeting and you will see a new message:

[Everyone Can Reply]

Click this and you will see two further options..

This is how Twitter has explained how this feature will work:

Here’s how it works.

Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:

1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting),

2) only people you follow,

or

3) only people you mention.

Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply.

People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.

This is a really interesting (very weird) development for the platform that can often generate lots of discussion, arguments and often abuse.

Effectively I can now tweet that “Greg is the greatest!” and I can do it is a way that no one can argue with me!!

 

The Rationale

I’m guessing Twitter want this because of the fear that many people have when using the platform because of the aggressive nature of many people using it unchecked, led by some very hateful horrible people such as the wonderful Donald Trump.

In truth they are petrified of expressing themselves on it, and maybe for good reason as reporting abuse doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Twitter noted that users in their test pool have said “that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has led to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects

People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.

The deeper rationale is most likely a commercial one – more active users will lead to more relevance and a better ability to market it to advertisers.

The Plus 

As mentioned already, it may encourage some people to tweet more, knowing that discussion feedback (good or bad) will be limited to their narrow chosen audience.

It might enable other users to start using the platform for certain posts more like Facebook whereby only friends can see their posts.

It could also be useful for organisations (public bodies) who want to push out updates and other information without getting a deluge of responses (good or bad).

Beyond that I am not seeing any other advantages.

The Minus

This will be a huge frustration for users of the platform, when they can see a tweet and want to interact with it and they cannot because of the setting – the openness of Twitter was part of the magic (even with some of the abusive users).

I think in many cases that might result in you unfollowing the account – I do recall at a social media training once a student saying “I only want people to hear what I say” – good luck with that perspective!!

This is my point, my opinion, my view but I only want a very select bunch to see it” …ah come on, this is surely creating a very warped world on Twitter for that person and for the collective.

Do we really need a very false, extra cosy “echo chamber” loaded with biased opinions and unchecked fake news with soft cushions everywhere, or would it be much better if instead of this strange solution to aggressive, abusive behaviour on the platform, that there was a more robust reporting system that did penalise serial abusers? (bye bye Donald!)?

Note: spotting the “Greg is the greatest” tweet I can easily undermine the soft cushions by tweeting something like:

Did you see what that idiot @GregCantyFuzion just said about himself in his self congratulating protected tweet, what a Wally!!”

Twitter is a place that gives us all an equal voice – unfortunately like so many other areas of society we often can’t control our worst urges, we can be nasty, we can be hateful, we can be abusive, we can be racist and we can be downright horrible!

The Echo Chamber isn’t the solution…what do you think?

(the image used at the top of this post was from the fantastic movie ‘Pleasantville’

 


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