Dear Academia, Why So Serious?

PICTURE THAT: On Friday, The Guardian posted an anonymous article written by a self-described "young PhD student" tired of the social media infiltration of everyday academia. The headline ran, "I'm a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer." The student decried tweeting at conferences, posting selfies and using social media for career advancement. The backlash from the academic Twitterverses and blogospheres was swift and merciless.

Professors like Kevin Gannon and K.T. Ewing have been using the #seriousacademic hashtag to share their issues with the young academic’s argument. They say his definition of a “serious academic” is actually code for the "traditional" image of a professor—old, white and male. By elevating this image, the anonymous young PhD student marginalizes any academic who doesn't look like an academic "should" look.

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