While it may seem that I have fallen off the face of the planet, rest assured that I am here and well! Things have been quite crazy in my life lately but I promise I haven't forgotten about you.
This week, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss a topic that we've briefly touched on before. Last Wednesday I attended a luncheon and while sitting at the table, I got to chatting about social media and magazine publishing--two passions that, as you know, are very near and dear to my heart.
To my left side was a girl who has embraced social media completely--she's on Twitter and Facebook, and blogs regularly. The girl sitting to my right was the exact opposite. She's on LinkedIn purely for professional reasons. No blogging, no Facebook, no Twitter and--this one really shocked me--no texting.
The social media debate continued throughout lunch and ties very well into the ongoing topic of self-censorship.
- Do you post personal and professional content through the same account?
- How do you know what to post and what not to post?
- Are you presenting yourself in the light in which you wish to be received?
Combining your personal and professional lives online is a risk you should take if (and only if) you understand the risk involved and are up to the challenge.
It's about merging the two into one--putting the face and personality with the professional life you have developed for yourself in the working world. And while a key piece of the puzzle is transparency, it's also important to remember that TMI (too much information) exists online just as IRL (in real life).
IRL, you wouldn't want to publicize or gloat about your crazy weekend antics in which you got so drunk that you had to call your parents to pick you up. IRL, you probably wouldn't call your boss to let him know that you are about to take a relaxing, hot bubble bath with your boyfriend.
So clearly, the same applies online. It's all about proceeding with discretion, making wise decisions about the personal online brand you create and knowing what qualifies as TMI.
Remember, not all social media outlets are for everyone. Just as the girl to the right of me at the luncheon has chosen not to jump on the social media bandwagon, it's perfectly okay to pick and choose the outlets you feel comfortable with.
As I said in my previous post on the topic... The most important thing to remember is that discretion and thoughtfulness are key to being a successful social media user.