I use a few online social networks and frequently post about family and professional matters. I try not to get too personal and I do take GREAT efforts not to raise a flag in my professional life. But, there are times when the urge to reach out to my network slips passed my "think-twice" filter such as here. But aren't we allowed to separate our work-selves from our social-selves? I know we choose to be as public/private as we want, but what about when people make assumptions about you based on a public posting and because of that your job or reputation is in jeopardy?
Such happened here to Steve Rubel after he posted this tweet. Granted, this is an old reference (2007) but I believe it is very relevant. Somehow I don't think he was posting as a representative of his company, thus his personal Twitter name. Isn't he permitted some private Twitter-time?
There are many Twitterers that post on behalf of their companies. I know I follow a few such as Starbucks, VoiceThread and Diigo. From these tweets, I expect tips, best practices and maybe even a trivia contest here and there. There's an expectation from a corporate name, even on Twitter. If there's an avenue for corporate tweets and an avenue for personal tweets, why are we having such a hard time separating the authors and their intentions?
Do you personally/or professionally know some of the people in your online social network? Ever have someone in your office, while speaking to you in person, comment about something you've said online? Does that feel a little creepy?
What about others taking personally what we choose to do online? As online social networks evolve, more programmers are developing tools such as Twitter Karma and Qwitter. I received an email, from Qwitter, one morning telling me someone stopped following me after some mundane tweet like, "Enjoying my morning coffee." So, curiously I clicked through to see who this person was since I wasn't following her, had no idea who she was or why my tweet offended her. So, around the same time she stopped following me, she posted this:
- I wasn't even following her.
- I wouldn't stop following someone based on her assumption that day, and
- I wouldn't want someone thinking I did!
I received a tweet out of the blue one day from @Shazzandrob (who has since deleted her acct) that stated something like "How about you remove 'HockeyMom' from your profile and we'll all be more comfortable?"
What? Who is this? Again, not someone I follow or ever heard of. Yeah, yeah, I know why she sent me that but why would someone make assumptions about someone's beliefs in one arena when they are engaging in another? My mother always told me to ignore comments like this. So I did AFTER I responded:
Her response back to me was an apology, sort of. She said she didn't know WE were so sensitive and they don't have HockeyMoms in New Zealand. Do the hockey players in NZ know that?
As much as I love Twitter, there are times when I agree with Jen Wagner that it's just like High School! In many ways, I don't want to graduate because I'm learning so much and having a lot of fun with my friends. Yet, is graduation inevitable?
Will we be forced to leave our social networks because of the potential for personal or professional damage?