What makes for a serious academic?
That question suddenly grabbed hold of the Twitterverse last week when an Academics Anonymous piece in The Guardian criticized the prevalence of social media in contemporary academics. Bemoaning what they called the “infiltrat[ion]” of the “selfie epidemic” into the “world of academia,” the anonymous writer criticized scholars’ increasing reliance on social media platforms to promote their professional identities. To the author, this tendency subordinates the serious pursuit of scholarly inquiry to a self-promotional “ritual” that serves as “proof of their dedication to the profession.” The reaction to this post was swift and relentless, ranging from satirical responses in The Guardian to defenses of academic social media in Forbes. The Twitter reaction to the piece was particularly comprehensive and compelling, as a perusal of the #seriousacademic hashtag or a glance at this storify will indicate.
My response to the Guardian piece is a bit mixed…
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