Monday, March 5, 2012

Where do you draw the line?

It's easy to become swept up in your own wave of social media success when you start developing a "following" on Twitter or find yourself with 1,000+ "friends" on Facebook or getting 500 views on your blog each time you post one.

Having a social media voice and presence can make even the smallest of egos inflated with self-importance, thinking that when you speak, someone actually cares or listens.

I have always kept a small amount of FB friends, limiting my personal profile to those people I truly want in my inner circle. They include friends who have known me since I was 9 years old to people I have met online and developed a true connection with.

I like looking into the lives of others, trying to get to know them better through their posts and status updates but I have recently found myself wondering, "Where do we draw the line?"

Where is the line between professional and personal? 

Tanis Miller is the Redneck Mommy and she has made a career out of putting herself out there for the world to see, pit bush and all (click that link at your own discretion). I recently asked her about exposing herself online and how her public persona differed from her private persona and she was more than clear about stating that what she puts online is the life that people are interested in reading about.

We chatted about our real lives - everyday problems like laundry, marriage, our kids in school, friendships - and it dawned on me that perhaps, even on my own personal Facebook page where it was suppose to be my bubble of privacy, I was posting too much inconsequential crap for the world to see.

Do you really need to see the details of my day? Does the fact that I have a constant argument with Big Daddy about taking out the garbage really relate to what I'm trying to do with FIERCE? Does putting myself out there online reflect who I truly am?

Chantal Saville hit the nail on the freakin' head when she replied to my tweet.

I have seen many people use Social Media in various ways; as a personal rant, completely professional with zero engagement, a place to air their dirty laundry, and then there are those who keep you at an arms length but give you enough to feel like you know them.

We all want a glimpse into the lives of others whether it's to psychoanalyze who they truly are or for gossip's sake, which is why the paparazzi and trash TV is so popular. We love to see other people succeed but we're just as happy to watch them fall. It's a sad state on society and one that is supported by the continued demand for TMZ, gossip rags, and blogs of similar content.

By putting ourselves online, we are somewhat exposing ourselves to the world but you need to decide how much you open up, why you are opening up and what your goal is by exposing your real life online.

I have toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook account all together but have decided to just limit baring my soul online to the people who truly matter to me and who are in my real life.

The things I will continue to be raw and exposed about are depression, my life growing up and how those experiences shaped who I am today, and any anecdote that directly relates to FIERCE. My voice is my own but choosing who knows what will change from here on in.

So now I ask you this: Where do you draw the line with social media?

Return to You Are FIERCE


  1. With social media, it is hard to put yourself out there in the first place. You don't know how people will respond to what you care to show. I thought twitter was my way out to vent but it became so much more. I do find that a little too much TMI is shared but I've become so involved in so many lives that sometimes it "feels" okay. Facebook is still my little bubble too.

  2. This post is so timely. I'm a sex-positive activist and have a personal fb page as well as a page that focuses on my sexy persona that people can "Like".

    The line is blurry though, and the other day I posted a pic of my 11-yr-old daughter on my personal page (we had just gotten henna art and I was showing the eye she had painted on her arm).

    One of my male friends glanced at the pic on his phone and thought it was me or some random hot chick, so he commented:

    "I would say its henna.. but I can't stopping looking at those luscious lips long enough to tell... oops did I say that out loud?"

    I shot back:

    "Dude that's my 11 yr old daughter you're talking about. Yes it's henna and yes she has luscious lips. Just don't kiss them for a few years, okay?"

    Lots of people attacked him for being creepy, and Hennagate 2012 was born on my fb page. It was hostile for 2 days. Have you seen the movie "Cats vs Dogs"? It was like that, only "Women vs Men".

    I wrote: "My friend didn't mean to be creepy. I hardly ever post pics of my daughter but this is my personal fb page, not my TBK sex-oriented persona so I figured I could post personal things. Parents are allowed to post pics of their kids, right? I didn't mean to bait or trick!"

    I also posted this:

    "I trust we can all chalk it up to a misunderstanding and have learned from it. Just a gentle reminder that this is my personal page for friends who like me for more than my sex work. If you want sexy Kendra, Like my 'The Beautiful Kind' page."

    On my To Do list: Spring cleaning on facebook!

  3. We've talked about this before but I'll say it again, there is a price tag that comes with getting personal on the internet if that is your brand. So people need to consider that before opening up and be prepared to pay that price.

    And like you said in your post, always remember that even the most personal brands and bloggers aren't sharing everything.

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