I remember a time when everyone made lists like: “10 things you did’t know about me”. Today, that’s Twitter. Or at least for some it is.
Someone much meaner and more cynical then I may call today “the Age of Stalking”. This (fake) iPhone commercial makes fun of exactly that. It is incredibly easy to find someone, get a hold of someone, or — along the lines of Twitter — know what people are doing at this exact moments. Fresh along with GPS data from their iPhones, of course.
The weekly news reports about companies who google the people who interview for a job, to the kids who share private pics of one another online. I know people who don’t care. I also know people who say they have nothing to hide. But I also know people who are scared of sharing anything online because they are afraid it might come back and bite them. To a certain extent, everyone is right. Or wrong — whatever side you may come from.
Taking the job hunt example — the gist of the reports were basically that if you have unflattering pics or facts about you online, that may hurt your job search. If you can’t be found at all — same result. This is exactly the advice you wanted. Right?
Nowadays there are people who know what they are talking about. Especially when it comes to Social Media and the good, bad and ugly within. They live Social Media, breathe it, get paid for it and are worth every single dime. You can find those people online, follow them on Twitter, read their blogs and even books. The more you USE Social Media, the more you will be able to tell the “experts” apart from those who don’t even call themselves experts cause they simply ARE. Between people out there looking for a quick fix, a quick dollar and a quick 500.000 followers on Twitter, not everyone has the time and patience to find those who know what they are doing.
The point I want to make is that 90% do NOT know what they are talking about. Would you believe an online reporter who advises people on Social Media who hasn’t updated his blog in a year and has only a profile on MySpace. Those of you who are nodding now, safe to say, you know a thing or two about Social Media.
I went a bit off topic here, but I wanted to make a point. There are lots of people out there who will freely tell you what to do and what not to do in Social Media. The biggest worry and the main focus here is (besides “money making”) data privacy. If you are not a SPAM bot, if you are a private person or company, you would not want Social Media to backfire on you. And it happens. A lot.
Imagine someone you have a high opinion of — and this person is on Twitter. If this person is on Twitter in the same “role” than you are, you can take them as model. Of course, everyone’s threshold is different as well as cultural, professional or random differences.
Who do you want to be? And who DON’T you want to be?
This is the central question when it comes to your data. I don’t want to tell you what is ok and what isn’t. Also because I don’t even know. I just wanted to show how someone may make an informed decision about what they want to share and what they’d rather keep to themselves. A drunk party picture might be ok and might not, a picture in a costume might depend on said costume. Do you want your boss to know what you did on the weekend? Or don’t you care?
Don’t despair tho, there IS someone who can tell you what is wrong and right for you. No kidding. There is a person, even for you, who can make the call. Which picture is appropriate, which information is too much. You want to know who?
Look inside yourself, inquire what you want and how you want to be seen. And then — go crazy!