In 30 Things You Should Not Share On Social Media, the premise is that in order to “protect your reputation, personal brand, your bank account and your privacy,” you must be very careful what you post on social media platforms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the author is talking about Facebook.
A lot of the points made are good and full of common sense; you don’t want to post on Facebook that you’re taking a sick day, for example, only to have your next post detailing the shopping excursion or movie or concert you’re going to. You don’t know who everybody knows.
For all that, for all the cautionary notes I put on my own social media presence, I find I’m torn over the notion that we should be using social media the way other people think we should use it, whether they are employers, potential employers, friends, family, or a nebulous, undefined Other.
Take these What Not to Share points:
#16. Images and videos of your children.
#19. Don’t link personal sites to professional business sites like LinkedIn…don’t mix business with pleasure.
#21. Personal Information. (I’m not really sure what this covers.)
#29. What you had for breakfast.
Social media is many things. In a wholly general sense, it’s about sharing, it’s about conversations, it’s about expanding your resources. It’s about meeting, connecting, and yes, friending. Whether you use Facebook or not, chances are you’ve found some way of expressing yourself online, from a simple Plain Text email to a review on Amazon to your own blog.
Put it this way: Do you really want your personal Facebook page to be impersonal?
I hesitate to restrict some of this sharing on platforms that were built for that purpose. As a microcosm of “real life,” at some point, isn’t social media the way we make it?
Now, how to get your friends to stop posting mortifying pictures of you, that’s another story…