Archive for the ‘Community Management’ Category

Why You Can’t Be Two People Online

July 12, 2010

Many people know that I used to be big into maintaining two presences on most social media sites.  I do some community management professionally, so obviously my professional peeps are going to know that I’m all over the place.  But I made the decision that I wanted to only show them a certain side of me and let my personal friends know the “real” me.

And then, the Great Defriending Debacle happened.  My personal Facebook ended up going belly up for reasons that I’m still not completely sure of.  All of my friends were gone and I was left to start at ground zero again.  So the question then became where was I going to start rebuilding my presence.  The decision I arrived at was to have a unified presence and I had lots of reasons why.

Time

This is the most no duh reason why I decided to go the route of one account.  Keeping up two accounts was a bit more time intensive than I would have liked.  While I wanted to keep popping up on my professional contacts home pages and giving them the idea that they were getting to know me, I also wanted to keep in touch with my personal friends.  Admittedly, I tend to post a lot, but this was too much for me to keep up with and not worth the time, in my opinion.

Repetitiveness

In my effort to allow my professional contacts in, I realized that there were quite a few times that I was telling them the same thing that I was telling my personal contacts.  Really?  I was taking the time to write the same thing twice?  Yup.  I like bragging about some things in my life and it turns out that both my professional and personal friends liked to compliment me equally.  Yes, I am a narcissist.  But it goes to show that the most important things in your life are also important to both sets of friends, so it makes little sense to separate them.

Confusion

I am easily confused.  I have posted things in places that I have not meant to.  I sometimes stare at an account trying to remember who I am on there.  Am I the silly girl who likes to make fun of herself or am I that somewhat put together girl who wants to share what I know?  This may sound silly, but sometimes you blank on what’s appropriate on a particular account and what is not.  Well, at least I do.  Keeping the same level of appropriateness just makes life easier.  That is not to say that there isn’t a reason to use privacy settings.  There are things that are just not interesting to one group and I think that is when it is best to implement those.  Using level of interest rather than appropriateness will save you heartache in the long run.

Technical Issues

You can’t be signed into more than one account at a time on most networks (Twitter being the most notable exception).  I found ways around this so that every account was easily accessible.  I was using more than one web browser and would install multiple apps on my phone.  All of this just so that I could be just a click away if I needed to reply to something.  Yeah, you guys may have a better glimpse into why I was sometimes confused now.

Nobody Gets to Know Me

This was my biggest issue.  I put too much thought into what I wrote about.  In fact, I can honestly say that my professional presence was the most unlike me you possibly could get because it was the most overthought.  I’m not saying that you should put no thought into what you are posting, but I think that is better than putting too much thought into it.  Mostly because it is no longer social.  The greater the filter, the less the more that you are missing the point of social media.  I decided that the goal of getting to know people on a deeper level is more valuable to me than to create a fake persona that faked relationships.  I am sure I will be writing more about this in a future post.

Why You Should Be Two People

Now what stopped from doing this before has honestly been a lack of trust in my personal friends.  Some don’t know that maybe that picture of me having just a bit too much fun is not appropriate to put up on Facebook with me tagged.  The first rule to combat this is making sure these pictures don’t get taken.  I’m almost 30 now.  If a ton of those pictures exist, then I have one thing to say about myself: sad.

So if it isn’t feasible to combat it that way, then you go to privacy settings.  This helps preventing both the pictures and the stories.  This is a simple fix of making sure that professional friends do not see posts about you.  Voila.  That issue is gone.

Honestly, if you are still maintaining two presences on networks, just stop.  It’s not worth it and it’s not a good use of social media.  And if you do feel like you need to keep the two presences up, really analyze why you feel that way.  I think you might find out that it is all rooted in fear and aren’t we all telling those we work for to not be afraid?

So how are you handling this?

(P.S. I’m working on getting better about blogging. Hopefully you will see more of me.  And hey, maybe I’ll even blog more on topic too! ;))

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