A Guide to Social Media-ing, for Voice Teachers, Because I Care.

by | Jun 24, 2017 | 4 comments

Category: business

One of my favorite things to do is frolic on the interwebs. I love the community that I have been able to create here, and the true friendships that have been cultivated across time and location. The BEST!

It has been noticed, however, that sometimes we have a hard time inter-acting on the inter-net. And because most of the humans that read my blog are performers and voice teachers, I’ve got some thoughts on how to do this social media internet thing, as voice peeps.

How to Social Media:
A (Snarky) Voice Teacher’s Guide

 

  1. Explain Yourself. A lot. Use All the Big Words.
    • Every detail you can think of, just go ahead and put it in that in the OP (original post), because if you don’t, you can expect to hear about it. And about the big words, that helps people know that you aren’t ignorant. Because not being ignorant has somehow become a criteria in judging how good voice teachers are at teaching. Hrrumph. But hey! Don’t get mad. This is what makes us really good voice teachers. We look for the dirty details. If you ask a vague question, you will not get a vague answer. You will get a lot of people complaining to you about how vague you are, and to focus your flow. See, sounds like a voice teacher, doesn’t it?  (OH! PS, try to include your pedigree, for good measure. )
  2. Assume Your Fellow Teachers Are Competent
    • If someone asks a question, please answer it with the assumption that they are not dumb and have taken the time to learn something. It would probably serve you to do a little internet stalking searching, to get an idea of who you are speaking to. I know this from personal experience, having put my foot in my mouth with a side of egg on my face. Save yourself! Google it! Use me as an example of what not to do! Most people know hella things. When they don’t, they strive to learn hella things. Assume the best from the get go.
  3. Ask Questions to Gain Clarity FIRST
    • This does not mean, “OMG, What are you thinking?!”  Ask something like, “When I think of the words you are using, I think _______, is this what you mean?” or “Here’s what I am thinking, is this what you meant?” Or, if you are really in tune (ha! I kill me!) to the “other things”, like I am, ask them what color their aura was when they asked the question. This one actually really does help, and if y’alls speak “other things” too, you know what I am talking about. If you don’t, leave it be. In short, find the common language first and go from there. If the post is about language, well good luck with that. I dunno.
  4. Stop Saying “I never” or “I always”
    • Because that is lies from Hades. Credibility goes waaaaay down when words like this are used, for two reasons: A. No person truly “always” or “nevers”, so you look like either a fool or madman. B. It reads like finger-wagging to those who do or don’t do what you do, and C. It’s snotty (okay that was three reasons)
  5. You Cannot Read Everyone’s Tone. Nope. You Really Can’t. Stop Arguing About It.
    • How you read something is about YOU, not the post-er. Are you offended? You. Are you triggered? You. Are you feeling insecure? You. Find something distasteful or rude? Double You. One more: DEFENSIVE? You you you.
      Too many times we tone police out of what we think someone else means before we ask (see Point 3). If this bothers, well, you, then that’s on, you guessed it, you. Before jumping down someones throat for being an ass, take a low 10th/11th rib breath, stretch those intercostals, and check why you read the tone the way you did.
  6. Everyone Reads Tone, and You Sound Like an Asshat
    • Seems unfair to have to take the high road of “no-tone-reading”, then write like you care about what your tone reads like. Good thing you are voice peeps, and are used to the world not being fair! You’re prepared! Do yourself and your colleagues a favor, and double check how you’ve worded all the things BEFORE you hit post. Interneting is not like a face to face conversation.
      Duh.
      And yet, and yet.
      Be grown. Slow down. Take responsibly for the way you word things. When you eff up your internet tone, apologize, don’t double down.
      Communication is in the receiver, not the giver. Watch your mouth, speak unto others as you’d like to be spoken to. [bctt tweet=”Communication is in the receiver, not the giver. Watch your mouth, speak unto others as you’d like to be spoken to.” username=”faithculturekis”]
  7. Different Generations Internet Differently
    • There are voice teachers on social media that, get this, NEVER USED AN INSTALLATION DISK TO GET DIAL-UP. WUUUT?!? No wonder there is no patience in the world!!
      If you were born before 1975-1980ish, you did not spend your formative years learning how to avoid creepers in AOL chat rooms, or playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, or typing “win” to start windows from the C: prompt, so you have a different relationship with computers, and the social medias.
      If you were older than 18 on October 21, 2001*, you have a different relationship with personal devices. If you were older than 18 before June 29, 2007**, you have a different relationship with ubiquitous internet.
      This needs to be understood on BOTH SIDES.

      • YOUNGERS: Some of our Fore Mothers and Fore Fathers of voice simply do not give two flat F&^*%@ about how they come across on the inter webs, because they are busy living in real life with real people. They are not expected to know about computers and social media. Their grandkids think it’s cute when they’ve figured out how to post a picture to FB. We Youngers can learn something here, no? These Fore-Teachers taught voice loooooong before we (read: I) could spend six hours viewing cricopharyngeus myotomy wounds on YouTube, and had to learn from Master Teachers by flying all over kingdom come to conferences and programs that they may have heard about through snail-mail. HONOR THIS. They had to work a lot harder to GET information.
      • ELDERS: We Youngers live in a world where our peers and Youngers-than-us give 10,000 flying F&*%(# about how we come across on the the inter webs. We develop relationships with our students over text, and are EXPECTED to understand social media and how to use technology. You have the benefit of seeming like a badass when you know what you are doing computer-wise. We have the stigma of looking stupid if we don’t. Now, combine that with the fact we dove head first into the novelty of instant connection. We were expected to use and sift through online resources to gain info, not just head to the music library for hours of listening. We’ve had 17625 articles pop up in five minutes about whatever topic we were looking into from the time we were in college. So we sift through bullshit fast, and have a hard time tolerating when people don’t “know the rules” of social media. HONOR THIS. We had to work a lot harder to PARSE information.

        Last but not least

  8. Take Your Brand Seriously, but Not Yourself
    • Every time we post, comment, tweet, start a thread, Instagram, etc, we tell the world who we are, the kind of teacher we strive to be, and what to expect from personal interactions with us. It’s not comfortable, but it’s true. Every word defines us to those we’ve not met in person yet. Remember this. There is no longer “the internet version” and “the in real life version” of us to the culture at large.
      We are business owners, or speak for our Universities/Colleges/workplaces, which means we have a brand we need to be aware of, whether we like it or not. Take that seriously. Before you post, ask yourself, “Is this, to my best ability, communicating what I want my potential clients and colleagues to believe about me and my teaching?”
      NOW, that being said, we are beautiful messy creatures who will make mistakes, and say things that do not show our best selves. When this happens, ROLL WITH IT. As with Point 6: Don’t double down. Just apologize, or edit a comment. Give yourself grace, and move on. Let it go quickly and move back to being your best beasty self, the one we know and love.
      Just like teaching voice, eh? Take the training seriously, use humor and grace to make it fun and effective. Make mistakes, move on.

So, there you have it. While certainly not definitive, it’s a place to start.

Let’s be as conscious and aware on the inter-webs as we are in our studios.

Let’s remember it’s truly a conversation we are having, with real people, with real feelings. GASP!

Let’s make Voice Peeps Land a happy, sassy, fruitful place.

Bye for now; see you on the interwebs!

OH, before I forget:
*The date the first iPod was released.
**The date the first iPhone was released.

Like what you read? Comment and let me know!
Think it’s nonsense? You can let me know that too, I suppose. Be nice about it.

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4 Comments

  1. Kimberly

    You’re amaze balls!

  2. Christina Kang

    Love you. Posting on the forum.

    • Michelle Markwart Deveaux

      That would be great, Christina! Thanks for thinking it share-worthy 🙂

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