Many professionals – and students – are creating new profiles for Facebook efforts, be they professional or academic. I’ve stumbled across several students and colleagues who have multiple profiles such as this. In Facebook it makes me wonder if people really understand (or set!) their many privacy settings.
In Twitter, I understand this more. As the masses join to see ‘what this Twitter thing is’, like it or not, more people you know are following you. Then, there comes a choice: to clean up your tweets or to go dark and create a new profile for being ‘you’. :)
I had conflicting thoughts on this as more and more people followed me and wanted to be Facebook friends, I wondered about the potential set backs. Mom reading your Facebook shenanigans. Dates becoming stalkers. Co-workers bringing up your frequent love of BK Whoppers w/cheese at 2am. Muddy waters.
Personally, I’ve decided that I’m ok with keeping my business out there and letting the chips fall where they may. Obviously, I set privacy settings and profile limitations for co-workers and those that I know outside of professional ways where available. But, as per the rest, my decision is to be ‘me’. I find I learn more that way and have much deeper relationships with those that I may not know ‘IRL’. In order to get anything out of social media, I feel, you cant remain professional with no personality. I am more than just my job.
Muddier waters come with the other social communities surrounding activities. Do you want everyone to know you run a certain loop every morning at 5am via your iPod Nike Plus or imapmyrun? Hmm. Maybe your Facebook pictures are at your favorite local place and people could just ‘show up’. Your iPhone displays your location via Loopt or Twitter. Food for thought, but not for worry.
Or is it? The fear of pedophiles on MySpace, and the ‘Craigslist Killer‘ fiasco it leaves a stain on social media in a sense. For those who use the net to meet people – no matter what the venue – it feeds the fear of those who dont understand it. Are these isolated, well publicized issues really as scary as they seem or are they more visible now due to our instant connection to news? How many similar incidents are occurring that have no net related implication?
I guess the bottom line here is to be authentic and safe. What are your thoughts on openness vs. anonymity and safety vs fear?