Digital identity and wellbeing
You may already be using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with friends, but now that you are at University you should consider exactly how you are using these tools. Our Academic Skills Checklist encourages you to think about the importance of your digital identity and how you manage it.
Some tutors at Sussex may expect you to use social media in your studies; whether this is contributing to Twitter chats in the lecture theatre or commenting on your classmates blog posts. If you have a LinkedIn profile, future employers may even look at this when you apply for jobs after graduating.
Social media can be a great way to connect with other students, researchers and tutors. It can also give you the opportunity to engage in current academic debate. Many Departments and Schools of Study at Sussex have their own social media accounts that you can follow, along with professional services like the Library. Following academics from your field can give you an insight into the emerging conversations in your area. It can also show you how to use these networks successfully. For example, if you use Twitter you can see how they use particular hashtags for certain topics.
Given the potential reach of the network that you build, you should consider what your posts and photos will say about you to peers, tutors, and potential employers (not just your old college friends). A comment that you post may seem funny now, but in a few years time will it undermine the professional image that you are trying to project?
Through the Skills Hub you can book on workshops to help with LinkedIn and using Twitter for academic studies. The University of Sussex Technology Enhanced Learning blog also contains a post on how to ‘Supercharge your LinkedIn profile’ written by one of our Careers and Employability consultants.
You should also consider your online safety and think about what information you want to keep private. For example, is it a good idea to share your address in your Instagram Bio if you are posting photographs about being on holiday?
In addition to your safety, your digital wellbeing is also important. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops can be incredibly helpful when you are studying: they enable you to look at lecture notes and online journals on the go - making the most of your time. However, this also means that it can be very hard to disconnect and take a break.
Some of the Digital Tuesday workshops that take place in the Library Open Learning Space will show tools and apps, such as Forest, that can help you to avoid digital overload. Guidance and support for your health and wellbeing can also be found on the Health and Wellbeing and Student Wellbeing webpages.