Refocusing my internet time on science engagement and communication

Over the last month I've been tracking my usage of Twitter and noticed I'm not engaging in the way I initially wanted to engage, in terms of being a more outspoken cognitive neuroscientist. A lot of it is fear.

Fear of saying something stupid (or worse: something I didn't find stupid and someone took offense) and that impeding on my chances for jobs, grants, etc. Fear of being the new kid and talking trash on topics older than me. Fear of a lot of things, but mostly fear of putting all this time and energy in on my research side of life and having my social side of life napalming the research side.

Thus far, I don't believe I've said anything caustic. I don't see myself with enemies on "Science Twitter". But I also don't feel completely represented by my own expressions through Twitter, which is something I want to strive for through my account but current feel like I can see evil versions of me preparing napalm to use on me.

I've thought and played around with various pseudonym identities, but they fail to meet expectations in terms of engagement. As @scicurious said, there's an initial distrust when you're a pseud. And I'm just not patient enough to grow my pseud accounts.

So I have decided to refocus my internet time in terms of science engagement and communication. I'm going to ween myself away from Twitter and focus more on blog posts here on True Brain. I think my training from being a music journalist has taught me a bad habit through Twitter -- talking in one-liners -- and that just isn't doing science enough justice. I could get away with "This album was okay: would stream, wouldn't buy" kind of comments but if I said "This article was okay: would read the abstract, wouldn't cite" then I feel like I'd be igniting that napalm. And I'm not interested in self-destruction. Especially at such an early point in my career.

I need to find a balance of representing myself correctly while also reaching out to as many people as possible and currently I feel like I'm lacking on both sides.

So, I'm declaring myself on a time-out until I can actually figure out a positive system and schedule for engaging. It's something important to me and I need to produce it with care and respect -- which is something I don't think I've been doing to my standards. The ability to effectively engage and promote ideas is something we are never taught through graduate coursework or training, and it is one of the truly universal skills that can come out of any graduate program. So rather than dragging my feet through it and stumbling around until I "figure it out," I'm going to take a step back and "watch the pros" for awhile (or lurk, as the citizens of the internet would say). Hopefully through my lurking, I can find common themes through my favorite communicators and use them for myself.

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