The concept of connections is interesting. First off consider what a connection. Consider how and why you connect and who you connect to. Before there was a Facebook, did the concept of casual contacts support knowing what those casual contacts were actually doing from time to time? People that don’t always know but are connected to because of social media? Not that it is a tenuous connection rather it is light connection.
Social media created the concept of friends, acquaintances and loosely those that are members of a group. The act of connection expanding your world. Now it is a good thing, I have reconnected with people on social media that I hadn’t seen in a long time. You know how good it feels to find people that knew you when.
Two really quick things that make me wonder. Why does Facebook have an upper limit on the number of people you can know? Where the professional network (Linkedin) does not?
The phrase we met on social media plays differently now than it did as recently as ten years ago. As those networks launched they were at the time a young persons game. Now they have moved to a broader audience.
We can argue that you can on those sites share too much. Information that you should keep to yourself gets pushed out. Like the simple self protections of NEVER SAYING I AM NO VACATION until after you are home. Why invite someone who is trolling social media to find people that aren’t home to break into your now empty house. Of course my house is never empty. The dogs fill the whole bloody space (ever try to share a couch with two Labradors? It isn’t physically possible).
Yes you can share things you shouldn’t share but too much is an interesting question. If someone is struck by what you shared even if it is probably close to too much information is that valuable? Depends. Personally I think if I see one more picture of a meal shared on Facebook I am going to start unfriending people. Really while I certainly appreciate a good meal, 23 photos of the last 23 things you ate and nothing else is well too much information.
The balance of information, some personal, some interesting and a couple of pictures of dinner is the right balance. Keeping in touch with people you don’t see as often is the value. Adding people you haven’t seen in years is the service the social media sites provide.
That got me thinking about guidelines for Social Media sharing. We should probably start building some. Just simple rules that don’t announce to the world that we are venerable.
- Never publish that you are on vacation while you are on vacation. The wonder and joy of family vacations are best shared after you are home.
- Pictures should be shared, but carefully. Having a picture doesn’t mean you should share it. Of course the other side is true having a picture means you should think abbot sharing it.
- Once posted it is real. Any thought you share with the world via email, posting, blogging or otherwise is real and permanent. Remember that when you are offended by something. Because the email/post/reply/comment/blog you send can offend as well.
Oh brave new world to have media such as social in it. We can share everything (so we need rules!!!!) with those we know. Just remember everything you say can and will be held against you.
Social Media Dreamer…