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A Fine Line Between Intimate And Social

Facebook social iconSocial media is a great way of networking. The many free tools at your disposal allow you to communicate with people in a very intimate way. While the beauty of blogging, the flair of Facebook, and the thrill of Twitter is that it’s very personal, users need to know where to draw the line.

People ‘like’ you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or read your blog because it helps them to feel that they have a relationship with you. They feel that they are receiving personal messages from you when you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or share something on your blog. With authority, they can report to their friends what you have said almost as though you were having a private conversation.

There is a danger, though, with opening up through social media – and that is the danger of sharing too much.

There is a fine line, however, between being ‘social’ and being ‘intimate’. While it is perfectly acceptable to share online that your dog has run away or you’ve broken your toe, telling your readers that you are having a row with your partner and withholding sex as a punishment – while it might be true – is perhaps too much information to share with your audience! If you have something highly personal to share, phone a ‘real’ friend and tell them. Don’t tell the people who are following you in your professional capacity.

While that might sound obvious, social media is so immediate – and the responses to what you say can be equally immediate – it can be very tempting to publish exactly what is on your mind when you are feeling particularly passionate.

Take note of the word ‘publish’ that I have just used. Once something has gone online, it is in the public domain. Even if you delete your post 30 seconds after you’ve put it online, it may be too late and information that you later wish you’d kept private is public property.

Part of knowing where to draw the line is in establishing an online identity – more on that in our next article.

The Views of this Your Say! article do not necessarily represent the views of the Fountain Resource Group. If you agree with this contributor, or perhaps you disagree and would like to write a response, feel free to email us at to have your say!

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – November 2010 (Issue 1)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

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