Has Social Media Censored You?

Has Social Media Censored You?

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.


2 thoughts on “Has Social Media Censored You?

  1. Hi David,

    Because of my position at Zend, I am very careful about what I tweet and blog. Self-censorship is just a way of life with me online. Looking back at my blog archives, my tone has changed dramatically in my blogging. (Not my focus though, there is is no focus on my blog) πŸ™‚

    My boss follows me on FB and twitter but that’s not what causes me to self-censor. It’s people who follow me that don’t know me as well that causes me to pause. All text mediums (email, IM, twitter, blog) lack the expressiveness that face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication conveys. Therefore, it’s much easier to take something the wrong way. My boss and I get along great because he understands my warped sense of humor. πŸ™‚



  2. Aloha David,

    I’m a life-long entrepreneur, so I’ve never had the pleasure of having a corporate boss breathing down my neck. πŸ˜› But I would say that your point applies to EVERYONE if you were to use a term like persona mgt. or brand mgt instead of censorship. You must have in mind the brand you’re looking to build/reinforce when you’re using New Media.

    If a person just spews things out without a filter, they’re doomed no matter whether it’s their boss they’re worried about, or prospects, customers or clients of their business. Of course that raises the issue of transparency, but that is a whole nother topic. Transparency can kill: http://snipurl.com/25z2d πŸ˜‰


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