How much "personal" is too much "personal"?
Is there a line that you should not cross? When do you worry about it, if at all? Why do it anyway?
This is the second blog posting that I am writing as a result of attending a 2 day personal development “conference”, the 2011 Northern Voice – Personal Blogging and Social Media Conference at the UBC Health Sciences Building.
I wrote the other day, a blog post talking about “the blurring of professional and personal online persona’s.”
Today’s post is the byproduct of the other theme that seemed to resonate throughout the two days; “How much personal is too much personal”.
This is one of those discussions that I get into with mostly friends, or acquaintances, those that do not participate at all, or have limited participation in Social Media and Social Networking.
Common comments would be; “why do I need to know when you went to the washroom”, “why do you put pictures online, everyone will see them”, “how can you call these people friends when you don’t know them or know so little of them and/or see them so infrequently”, and the list goes on and on.
Then we get into the “it takes too much time” and “I don’t want to have to share all of my life with people” etc….
My usual response is as follows, “No one forces you say anything online, put anything online, share anything online and spend a set amount of time on online”.
It’s all up to you and what you want to do. I hardly think that every friend that you know expects to here from you everyday. They probably don’t want to see all of your pictures and I am 100% sure, that they don’t care about your last washroom visit – I know I don’t! That’s just a little too personal; for me…
What you disclose, whether that be pictures or stories; what you choose to share with others and have them share with you , do nothing more that to enrich your life and expand your horizons. The more you share, the more that is shared. The more you give, the more you get.
Now, that does not mean you have to tell the world that you are home alone with the doors unlocked. You don’t need to foursquare you address while doing that. Probably not the smartest thing to do. You may not want to tell the world that you are leaving for a couple of weeks and that the keys are with the deaf and blind neighbours. You for sure don’t need to tell anyone (unless you really want to) that your boss is an a-hole and that the company you work for are a bunch of jackasses. Again, might not be the smartest thing to do.
A indiscrete picture or thought may be one of those things that you keep to yourself or only share with a very select few. Bully texting or sexting may be activities that you do not want to participate in! Must be careful.
But these are things that would have not been suggested to do in the older social mediums of telegraph, fax, newspapers, phone calls, super market convos etc….
Nothing has changed. Same common sense rules apply.
Only tell people what you are comfortable with them knowing. Remember, when you are online, you really are “out there”. Share carefully – your definition of carefully! You never know where your pics or stories will end up.
I have said it in many past blog posts; what you do online and how much you share is really your business. You don’t have to do anything, or you can go crazy and spend as much time as you can on any of the mediums and share everything. Your call.
However,I will say this, I think you miss out on a lot when you stick your head in the sand, or you dig your heels in, and take the stand that this social media / social networking thing is either insignificant or irrelevant. It is here to stay – play!
The people that I have met, that have become friends, and the experiences that I have had, are real and help to make me, me. Love this picture that I took at the conference from a talk from Alexandra Samuel;
I guess what I am trying to say to the “naysayers” is this; Get online, participate and engage – share your ideas and thoughts. You might be surprised at how much you actually enjoy it and how much others enjoy you!
Ciao for now @kootenayborn