Social media has made it incredibly easy to give anyone who cares an opportunity to see aspects of your life they never would have had access to without being in your space; for better or worse. For example, if you are friends with me on facebook and not in real life, then you get to see the fabulous times I have with my friends, the accomplishments of BFDC, and of course, my infectious smile :-). You'll never see me post a facebook status related to the way I went off on a telemarketer or got smart with a colleague. You won't even see me post about a romantic relationship because, for me, that's not what facebook is for.
Now, if you follow me on a certain twitter, you might see that other side of me. Going off on people, being opinionated, cracking jokes for at least two hours straight while watching Love and Hip Hop ATL… and then attempting to understand Love and Hip Hop ATL. The funny thing about that twitter account is that once I started getting too many followers that I barely know, or that only know me through BFDC, I stopped accepting follow requests.
So if my twitter posts are different from my facebook posts, does that mean the things I post on facebook are any less legitimate? Absolutely not, it just means that I am carefully selecting the part of my life I'm willing to share with 1400 of my closest “friends”. Now why would I need to monitor who I let see “the real me?” Why not just “keep it 100” all the time? Well the truth is I DO keep it 100 all the time. The part of my life I share on facebook is my real life, and the thoughts I share on twitter are my real thoughts, but the same way I don't walk around my job in pajamas the way I do at home, I'm not going to expose every single thought that pops into my head, or every single circumstance I find myself in via social media.
I'm a firm believer that there's a reason God didn't give us the ability to hear each others thoughts, so we should all think twice before we take the time to type those thoughts on twitter and facebook. It's amazing to me how things that are acceptable in real life (managing your emotions, recognizing there's a time and place for everything, choosing your battles wisely, etc) are somehow unacceptable on the internet. It's equally amazing to me that things that are not acceptable in real life (being a bully, being sexually explicit, being a coward, being a manic depressive, etc) are accepteptable on the internet all in the name of “keeping it real”.
Well the truth is what's acceptable and unacceptable in life doesn't change, but the ability to successfully maneuver through the world has been decreased for some because they're doing too much on twitter and facebook. Social media is a tool like any other and, when used wisely can help a person catapult themselves into a level of success or recognition that is beneficial. However, when used inappropriately, you can create enemies and ruin your reputation.
I care about whether or not those who take the time to “follow” or “friend” me have an opportunity to see the real me via social media, but I also freely give myself the right to be real and private at the same… time!