We all have many roles in life including employee, manager, husband, brother friend, etc. Each role brings out different aspects of our character. Social media has allowed us to segregate these roles and develop them in ways that were not available to past generations of human beings. Of course, some of us develop them in ways that are frowned upon by polite society and may even be illegal and criminal in nature. Others have used the platforms to reach new heights of artistic and intellectual development.
Many of us tend to emphasise different aspects of our characters in different social media platforms. I use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter almost every day. My LinkedIn profile is used for professional purposes, my Facebook one for interactions with friends and family, and Twitter to speak frankly. There is very little crossover between the people I am connected to in each platform. I have noticed that many people have a similar demarcation and become quite agitated if the lines are crossed. Posting political stuff on Linkedin is “stepping over the limit” and promoting a business on Facebook is considered gauche. I don’t know what the limitations on Twitter are but Trump seems to take us to new horizons with every passing day.
The dilemma for those of us that either write blogs or post on any platform is that little button titled “share” on most social media platforms. What happens when a post designed for Facebook and targeting your friends ends up on LinkedIn with the click of a button. Outrage from some and even worse consequences for others have been the result. Most of us don’t realise we have put the proverbial “foot in the mouth” until the comments start coming in. Then we are forced to explain, defend and finally retreat.
Far better then, to take a deep breath after we write, reflect on what the impact will be on our diverse group of connections, and post on the correct platform. Sometimes we may not post at all. This is the new version of the “count to 10 rule.”
Now if I can only follow my own advise😊