Social Media – Sites, Blogging, Tweets, User Content – can be exhilaratingly liberating.
It can also be stifling.
What happens when your boss is your Facebook friend? What happens when your customers follow your tweets? You probably think twice (or should) about posting those Burning Man pics when you know the same people who pay (or could pay) the rent are also viewing your online personna(s) with more than a little interest.
I find that my online representations of David J. Hinson are very much affected by who I think will be reading what I write.
That’s not to say that by and large I don’t speak my mind, or that the words I put on on Twitter, Facebook, this blog, etc. don’t represent what I really think.
But I try to carefully weigh my words before committing them to the ether, because the penalty for not doing so is inordinately steep. Once you’re out there, your are OUT THERE. Forever. Ask anyone who has been You Tubed.
There are so many times that I felt that I had been wronged, that I had been annoyed by something, that I had been about to burst with excitement / pride about something – and wanted to blog or twit it – and had the good sense to stop and do something else. Sometimes, less is a hell of lot more, if you catch my drift.
Social Media, as I have written before, is a tremendous force multiplier for good and ill. With this awareness, I realize that even with the best of my intentions and sometimes contrary to what I want to share and project, I know that my online self will never be 100% “me.”
And that’s more than OK with me.
I’m just coming to realize how much having more avenues of expression at my disposal has actually curtailed the amount of expression I feel comfortable sharing, either for fear of loss of self or fear of doing something stupid to jeopardize future earnings.