Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Social Networking: Friend or Foe Towards Self Expression?

It never really occurred to me until today how being an active member of various social media/networking sites could actually damper my ability to express myself without potentially offending someone unintentionally.

Now read that sentence again, and I'm sure most of you are thinking "Well DUH, it's just a chance you take regardless of it being online or in person." But think of it this way, what if you have combined your personal and career spheres into one giant melting pot, say on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or even those of you who still actively use MySpace? I don't include Twitter on this, because I think it's really hard to do too much damage in 140 characters or less. You've either got to strive to piss people off to make that happen or be extremely creative in your wording.

 Is it better to just separate the two to save face or more importantly your sanity? What about where your family comes in? Your family wants to support your business so you add them to your career sphere because networking is really where it's at, what gets you ahead. You add your friends to your career sphere, and your colleagues, instructors and mentors. Every single one of these people has a voice, an opinion, a track in life.

Each one of these people you let into your social media world has access to your thoughts, your photos, your mutterings, your career ideas. EVERYTHING you put out there is up for critique. Until today that did not make one iota of difference to me, at all. Until today I may have shared things that people may not have agreed with or had a different view of and I welcomed that with open arms. I love my friends and their diversity even if we share different viewpoints.

Today that changed because I think that I realized that maybe my life is just a little too out there, and maybe I don't want to have to clarify everything I say to make everyone have a warm and fuzzy feeling. I'm never trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but I don't want to have to make my opinion of my own life fit a mold that never makes waves. I agree that to an extent being politically correct has it's advantages, but in the field of work I'm now in, it feels like if you're not absolutely inclusive to every single thing in your own life your digging yourself a grave.

I would never put down the work someone else does nonchalantly or without reason. Hell I didn't even put down anyone's work today, I was just ruminating on the fact that over the last 2 years I've learned alot about myself and that the choices I would have made prior to this education are vastly different than the choices I would make now.  That doesn't mean that anyone who makes the choices I would have made but no longer choose to, are somehow less than me, or less educated or just stupid. Nope not at all. It means that I wish for my own sanity that partly I didn't know everything I do now because I know there are things I can't settle for.
That does not mean that EVERYONE settles. It just means *I* would be. *Sigh* And yet here I am blogging about how I feel I have to justify my own opinion of my own body and my own life.

Lets take my ever struggling problem with eating meat now. 2 years ago, I ate steak with a relish and abandon I can no longer afford myself. I look at chicken and pork and turkey and steak and wonder if this is really something I can feel good about eating, because I know WAY MORE than I ever did before about how it fits inside the body it came from. Does that make me a vegetarian or vegan? Not at all it just means I struggle with enjoying the taste, and knowing that maybe I don't need to eat it as often as I did.

Maybe now this is where I should start considering if I need to stop blending all aspects of my life just for the sake of convenience. Maybe I should have 2 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts and 2 LinkedIns. Yeah, if I'm realistic with myself that will never happen.

So where does that leave me? Do I need to censor everything I put out there for the potentiality of someone taking it the wrong way? Should I just make every comment I do one big long note so that I can really explain what I mean without having to deal with 420 characters of censorship already imposed on me?

Has anyone else wrestled with this issue? I mean it is 2011 and you think for the 16+ years I've lived my life out loud and online, this isn't the first time I would seriously have to contemplate this issue.

I'm sure with my posting this blog to every social media venue I'm on, I'm only furthering the debate with which I speak because I'm allowing more people to interject their thoughts and comments. Oh well, I guess I'll never get away from it, but I'm ok with that. I just wonder how far I need to separate the spheres of my life, or if I should just take everything with a grain of salt, and potentially a shot of alcohol. LOL

1 comment:

  1. You won a Propel pack on Momondealz! Email me please at