The professional vs personal you

As a professional using social media to expand your organization and interests you are multiplying your access to resources and people, yet how do you mold your personal life with your professional side. We’ve all see the sites where people maintain strict boundaries, you don’t even know who’s supplying the information. These sites have their purposes, but your drive to follow and connect through this information is low. We crave interaction along with our understanding.

As a Social Worker, my person encompasses my profession. The boundaries are more fluid between my professional and personal life because how I serve the community is an outpouring of who I am. Yet,as social media Hannah I find myself only presenting information that I want everyone to see. The time of privacy is over. As a professional, I mix my personal and professional self in a way that presumes my title as Social Worker.Even in my personal Facebook page, I censor what is published and who are my friends, fully aware that possibly anyone can view my page.

Reid Hoffman, founder of Linked, defined the purposes of social media, separating personal, media, and professional well. He then claims that the risk of transparency is obsolete compared to the benefits of connectivity. Read more here: http://mikeg.typepad.com/perceptions/2010/01/privacy-social-network-sites-a-case-of-conflicting-agendas.html

As I continue to develop my online presence, I will become more and more transparent, yet the information I share will censored and appropriate for both my personal and professional life.

Hannah

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One thought on “The professional vs personal you

  1. Hannah,

    Great post and you have raised the important issues. A couple of thoughts. I think we can have good boundaries and still share who we are and where we are coming from. In fact, really good blogs or social media sites are right up front about who is talking and what they believe. I agree with you that there are many sites and posts where we have no idea who is talking or where they are coming from. That feels much more like deception. Always check the “about” link on every site and go to the info section on every social media site. If we are open about where we are coming from people will connect better to our message.

    You are also correct that we must monitor and be constantly thinking about HOW open we want to be. And Hoffman does appropriately suggest that openness gives us a benefit that out weighs the negatives of our lack of privacy. Our constant struggle in the age of information is to find where in the world that line is. And when you are speaking for an organization, that is even more difficult. In order for people to want connect, we need that sense of interaction. The trick is how to create that without crossing that line. Take a look at the storytelling sections of the wearemedia.org site. It talks about some of these issues. Good job.

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