I have often wondered how much of ‘me’ I should reveal to my virtual audience.
I follow blogs, tweets and facebook updates of friends, aquaintances, colleagues and people I admire. Some of those I know really well in real life. Some of them I may have met once or twice and some of them I have never met. Quite disturbingly, it is some of the people that I rarely ‘know’ that I actually feel like I know the most. God, that makes me sound like a stalker – I’m not.
It is very easy in our virtual world to ‘follow’ the lives of practically anyone we choose. Pick a person, any person and you could probably use the internet to discover their address, phone number, date of birth, names of family members, what they do for a living, where they shop etc. You don’t need to be a master criminal to discover this information. Millions of people every day are sharing this stuff openly for all to access.
My facebook page has recently been full of people updating, through their iphones, their current location. ‘Bob’ has checked in at Pizza hut. Fab. Thanks Bob. Why would I want to know this, or even more to the question, why would they want me to know this? Why would anybody want to publically advertise the fact that they are out of the house, probably for a good hour at least? Check the rest of their profile, photos or another social media outlet and you could probably find out where they live and where they keep their most valuable possessions. Perfect burglary information.
Don’t even get me started on the updates that tell us all when so and so is going on holiday and when they are back.
I still don’t know how much of me to reveal to the world. When does ‘sharing’ your life on-line actually become ‘living’ your life on-line? As a teacher, I was ‘miss’ in front of the class and a completely different person in the privacy of my own home. I played a character at work. Do I play a character on-line?
Social media is the way forward for business. I am fully aware of that. How do you use social media to get to know others without leaving yourself open and vulnerable? Is it a case of less is more? How much do people really want to know about the real me? There is a real living, breathing person behind the TT logo. I am Tykes Tights. But I am also me. Where does one end and the other begin?