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ella dawson @brosandprose
, 21 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Interns don't run the social media accounts of major corporations, especially not in the middle of a communications crisis.

I will gladly die on this hill, as a senior social media staffer who has worked late into the night writing apology tweets one by one from a brand account.
Here's a new year's resolution you can all feel free to borrow: Stop treating social media as either a force destroying democracy or a pointless, shallow field that doesn't require professional expertise.

Make up your mind! Are we interns or the civilization-threatening nerds?
For the record I am a nerd trying to not destroy civilization and living with a lot of ethical angst over my chosen field. But I'm not an intern!!
Making fun of the "social media intern" during a PR crisis or when a brand messes up on Twitter reinforces two things: the idea that social media is a "pink ghetto" of unskilled women, and the idea that millennials bring no valuable experience to the workforce.
Social media employees are typically underpaid, do enormous amounts of unrecognized and unsupported emotional labor at great psychological expense, and often aren't given opportunities to advance.
When you make fun of "social media interns," you're undermining the work of someone who I can guarantee has been exposed to shocking amounts of graphic language and imagery, violent references and racial/gendered/homophobic slurs, all without mental health benefits.
Social media professionals are often working on a freelance/contract basis with no benefits and limited stability. The stakes of their job are extremely high: they cannot make a single mistake, requiring their performance to be absolutely perfect 100% of the time.
Name another role that is so underpaid and despised, and requires you to be the flawless public face of a company online to millions and millions of viewers.

If you work in social media, you cannot have a single. bad. day.
I'm going back to enjoy my vacation now, very aware that most people who work in social media *do not get vacation time* because social media NEVER SLEEPS.

I hope the #ConEd social manager is one of the few of us who receives overtime, because she deserves it.
Shoutout to all the exhausted and undervalued social media managers who started following me for this thread! 👋🏻
My professional low point this year was reading every new post on 4chan nonstop for 72 hours when one of our speakers was the target of a harassment campaign. The amount of revenge porn, antisemitism, cruelty and violence I saw — just do to my job — deeply damaged my health.
Working in social media has given me a unique skillset. I was the only person at the company who could identify where threats were coming from. Social media managers don't just write tweets; we're digital bodyguards for the brands we work for.
If you work somewhere with social media staff, from a company to a publication to a university, take them out for lunch and ask them about their challenges. Ask them what they're seeing online and what they think of the company. Our perspective is precious but undervalued.
Hey social media managers, what was your worst day on the job? I'd love to RT some examples for the uninformed.
A few suspicions I had have been reinforced by this thread going viral:

1. The psychological damage of doing certain jobs (like reading violent threats and comments) isn't taken seriously — by management, by industries, by our capitalist culture in general.
2. Attempts to highlight the pain of specific jobs is met by "So what? Pilots/teachers/waiters/etc have it worse." There's a knee-jerk defensive reaction, when really we should be seeing the exploitation that workers of all trades face and advocating for each other.
3. People do NOT want to see how race, gender and class play into how social media managers are disrespected. Saying social media is a pink ghetto isn't "bringing gender into it," it's just a fact:…
Moral of the story: The way social media is disrespected as a field is the result of a lot of forces. It's the disregard of emotional labor as real work. It's ageism seeing social media as something "kids" just know how to do. It's the result of workers rights being rolled back.
Tweeting that all social media employees are interns is just a joke, yes. People who make the joke aren't bigots, they're just clueless. But we should talk about the erasure of an entire field's professional skills, and the exploitation of economically insecure young people.
I'm so lucky to work with people at TED who understand and respect the toll my job takes, and I have great benefits and job security. But as I watch my friends get laid off and overworked and underpaid again and again and again at other companies, I understand I'm the exception.
Social media professionals need a union.
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