How do you manage your virtual self?
A couple weeks ago I attended a Third Tuesday event that featured Nora Young and her new book The Virtual Self. It was an interesting discussion on how our online lives impact our “real” lives and the reverse. She used a great example of Google Maps and how, if you allow them, they will track your movements while driving to determine traffic flows and provide you with details on the level of congestion in your chosen route.
With this information, you can make a decision to keep on course, or take an alternate route. Google then tracks that route, and so on and so on… This prompted an interesting discussion about how we use online tools to share information. When we get right down to it, by tracking our movements Google has become the new Big Brother. But it’s a Big Brother that we’ve welcomed with open arms.
Looking at the Internet and social media tools, it’s amazing the amount of personal information that we freely give out. We can use a Google’s location service to tell people where we’re Tweeting from, or check into places through Facebook. Think about it. We share a huge amount of personal information in our virtual life, more than we might share face to face.
Think about your social media channels. How much personal information do you share online? Who are you sharing it with?
I’ve said this before: PR is a 24/7 lifestyle, not a 9-5 job. That said, I separate my personal and professional online lives. My Facebook account for sharing with family and friends. For professional interactions, I use LinkedIn and Twitter. I have some people who live in all my online worlds, but many live in just one.
I break it down like this: Will I be limiting what you can see on my FB profile? If so, we’re not gonna be “Friends”. If we’ve NEVER met, we’re definitely not gonna be “Friends”. Do I only know you on a professional level? I’d love to connect with you… on LinkedIn.
It’s nothing personal… some information is just personal.
How to you use Social Media? Do you blend your personal and business life?