I spend a great deal of time each day with online business networking and social media sites. I used to keep my business and personal life separate but with constant activity on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In the lines between work and home have blurred.
Now when I post a photo I have to ask myself. Is this a picture that I want everyone in the world to have access to? If I update my status with a personal note I examine the ramifications of it’s message and how it will be viewed by friends, family and colleagues.
In fact the more public my life becomes, the more I have to double check my spelling, political correctness and attitude. Sometimes I feel like screaming to my Facebook friends “UGH!!! I’m having a rotten day!” but, what if my clients see that? Worse yet, what if my mom sees it?
I’m getting tired of constantly looking over my world-wide-web shoulder to see if someone is watching me. I wanted to adopt a policy of “Hey, I’m a good person, so what if I share my feelings… I am, who I am, and if that isn’t good enough then it’s somebody else’s problem.
Truth is that somethings are just better off left private. I cringe when someone writes a note on my wall that isn’t meant for general viewing. I plead with my friends after they snap a candid shot of me… “please don’t post that on Facebook if it’s not flattering.”
I’ve been reading up on web etiquette and listened to a podcast (forgive me but I just can’t seem to find it to give due credit to the original creator) that gave me some fabulous guidelines for posting. These ideas came from several sources both online and off.
1. People don’t care what you ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner (unless it really was gross like bugs or crazy like rubber bands)
2. Stop and ask yourself, Will this offend someone? If so, is that the intended result? (the squeaky wheel theory)
3. If you have a blend of professional and personal followers – keep your public comments PG.
4. Send sensitive or ultra personal info directly to select individuals.
5. Keep one post ahead of yourself. (ie. Write your post but don’t submit it until you have the next post ready. This is the same principal as writing the Dear John letter then saving it until the next day to mail.)
6. Never post in anger or when emotionally charged.
7. Reveal your personality, not your baggage.
8. Get feedback. Often we write something that makes complete sense to us but it’s completely confusing or misunderstood by others. Have a trusted source sensor your posts until you get comfortable with your boundaries.
9. Use Humor.
10. KISS – keep it short and sweet. (Twitter forces that)
I’d love to hear your tips for bearing your soul to the world. How much is too much info? Where do you draw the line for privacy?
If you prefer, you can comment privately by sending me a message via Facebook or email.