Private! Keep Out.

Simple words but powerful statement.  With the social media sites today touting one thing and delivering another is it any surprise that over exposure of ones persona, individuality is one such consequence?  Facebook has come out with new rules for exposure based on the best possible denominators for everyone.  Hmm?  Really?  The underlying belief by many is that although one wants to share and connect with friends on Facebook, network too, for others like old Brick and Mortars and the new cyber brands there are advertising sales on the line. Branding and publicity are part of having a page sure – bottom line is more sales for Facebook and their advertisers.  Even WordPress has made profiles public – you can limit the amount of information on a profile just like on Facebook but you actively must do this. As a public relations professional I was never one to advise that any publicity is better than no publicity.  In fact, there is bad PR.  Just ask Tiger, Jesse, Sandra, Madoff, BP,  to name a few.  Remember Enron, Arthur Anderson, Tyco and many more…  It is easy to say if you don’t want to see yourself quoted on CNN or in cyberspace, well then, don’t say it. For many, especially the young, even some of my nieces and nephews have yet to learn that once you say something out there on the internet, you never know who is going to see it.  So?  Make sure it’s something you don’t mind standing the test of time.  Many with a larger ego want it to be seen.  Until they don’t.  That is until someone actually sees what they say or do (YouTube) and their ego, branding, or self-worth then takes a dive because of the negativity that is associated with it.  White collar professionals, those who serve people, lawyers, doctors, teachers, business folk use these sites for their own personal use to.  Ever look up someone you know professionally only to be surprised at who some of their friends are or what they are saying?   You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink – unless it’s a really hot day! So, if you are on the social sites just for fun, friendship, and a little networking be careful that you make yourself as private as possible if you don’t want your employer, or future employer, or present/future someone to see something that may make them think twice about partnering with you.  No one wants to see Aunt Sally and Uncle Ben playing out their relationship issues online – you didn’t want to hear it if you lived next to them.  And, if your ego is so large you have no idea of how to rein it in – keep on keeping on!  We all enjoy the gaffes that get played out from time to time.  Why not a bit of social media to be part of the comedy quotient? 🙂