Social Media Is Not Your Journal

2 Nov

Mead NotebookDear Twitter,
Today I came in to work seriously late. I didn’t get the response I wanted on a project so I took a long lunch at the local bar where I had 3 DRINKS! OMFG I FEEL SO DRUNK RIGHT NOW AND I HAVE A MEETING TO ATTEND!

There’s so much wrong with that tweet, besides the fact that’s it’s over 140 characters. Lately I have noticed that my streams on Facebook and Twitter have been an invasion of TMI and deeply personal thoughts.  There are a number of individuals that I expect this from, but when you take to Twitter to announce your health status or what really happened during your day, you open yourself to significant damage.

The lines between work are becoming blurrier every day.  Are you “friends” with your boss on Facebook? Does your co-worker follow your Twitter account? Many posts have been written to detail how pics of you at the beach will get you fired (mostly when you call out sick that day) or how your online identity can prevent you from landing your dream job. Those are great points, but an even more compelling one would be that all this public sharing has robbed us of the opportunity to be introspective.  After all, if you can’t sum up your idea in a witty way, who will comment on or RT it?

Back in the day, when I was an overly-sensitive teenager, I used to carry a journal around.  It was often a black-and-white lined notebook that I would use to write poems, diary entries, ideas for plays and homework assignments.  I carried the practice well into my adult life, although my journals became more about to-do lists than some profound commentary on my world.  I’m not sure when I stopped this practice, but I’m sure that my addiction to social media had a lot to do with it.

Today, as I was taking a walk during lunch, I felt an urgent need to work out a problem I was facing at work.  I pulled out my phone to tweet and stopped.  How could I sum up my problem in 140 characters? Would my followers respond as quickly as I needed them to? Most importantly, would people from work see my tweets and misinterpret them? I put away the phone and remembered back to a time when my thoughts were my own and I solved my own problems. For the first time in a long time, the idea of sharing myself with the world seemed cold and unappealing.

Takeaways

  1. Check your privacy settings. You don’t want the world (or more specifically your boss) to know how much you hate your job.
  2. Stop and think before you hit send.  Do you really want everyone you know to have this information about you?
  3. Don’t share every thought you have. Your followers and friends will appreciate it.
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4 Responses to “Social Media Is Not Your Journal”

  1. Steph Auteri 11/02/2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I’m totally one of the people you expect TMI from, aren’t I?

    • Nixie 02/21/2013 at 12:55 am #

      Nope. You are one of the more professional people I know. Your blog topics are often personal, but they are well thought out and executed. Moreover, if you were to share a fact in your blog that was later brought up with a co-worker or colleague, I don’t believe you would be ashamed of the personal details you shared.

  2. claire daniel (@calissta) 11/28/2011 at 10:01 am #

    New Year’s Resolution!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to stage an intervention for an social oversharer - 01/26/2013

    […] original post “Social Media is Not Your Journal” by Nicole Perri was originally published on Social Media […]

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