I’ve noticed lately that several people in my life have multiple personality disorders: two or more Facebook profiles. When I ask them why they do this, it’s always because they want to be friends with people, but not allow them to see certain things on in their profile.  I then walk them through my post about how to protect your privacy on Facebook, but by that point, its too late. They’ve already accepted and communicated with people via the alias.

I wonder why so many people have such little knowledge of Facebook’s great privacy provisions? People are willing to post and share their most personal details but not to protect it. This has only been made more apparent by the recent turmoil over Facebook’s new Terms of Service.

Privacy is something that proves more allusive the more inclusive you get. Its made even more so when you provide information online, where it potentially lives forever and can be reproduced by whomever. With more and more people following you on Twitter or requesting Facebook friendship, I think its time to ask yourself ‘how much privacy do I want?’.

I recently discovered that more and more people from my job are following me on Twitter and asking to be added on Facebook.  Facebook was easy, because a ‘limited profile’ option has already been set up. Twitter is the one area that caused a minor panic.

I decided that the things I say on Twitter are who I am, they are nothing new or out of left field if you know me. It is not my job and my job is not who I am. Becoming more personal via Twitter has opened up much more for me in the way of communication than a strict ‘business only’ mentality has. “Practice what you preach” came to mind regarding transparency. Therefore, I decided to let the Twitter chips fall where they may, and only clean up my work related rants. :)

How has privacy, Facebook/Twitter or otherwise been an issue for you personally and/or professionally? Do you experience the same people with multiple profiles?

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4 Comments

  1. insidetimshead says:

    You’re always a step ahead of me in blog posts! I’d been ruminating something on @stomer’s question of a person’s professional and/or personal presences in social media (from this weekend, I think) in terms of how they relate or overlap. Not exactly like this, but I think you explain it pretty well.

    My favorite bloggers/Twitterers/Facebookers are those who value their authenticity. Who put their quirks out there for the world to see. I have little use for Twits who seem to be RT bots or just spend their time claiming expertise while posting links to articles. Give me real people with real stories, real problems, real flaws even. That’s what is really compelling.

    I’ll save the rest for my blog post, whenever I can finish it.

  2. The problem with Facebook’s privacy settings is that they can become a pain to implement when you have lots of friends and so, you’d almost have to devote a good day to putting people in their groups.

    I need to do it though, because it would make browsing easier and make me less likely to have to do the awkward dance of deleting all but a few people and having the ones on the outside wonder why.

    As for Twitter, I what you’re saying about transparency is important and true. I think it’s part of why I don’t like having my twitter status broadcast on Facebook (though sometimes, I do) because I like to Tweet things that FB folks don’t really need to know. But it’s strange for me, since I don’t have much overlap between the two worlds, I imagine if I did, it wouldn’t matter as much.

    But this topic has been on my mind a lot lately too, so thanks for opening the door on the conversation.

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