Why Aren’t We More Afraid of Social Media?

April 25, 2012

A few weeks ago, I had a wake-up call. Tweets and blog posts I write in the professional realm are subject to scrutiny by those looking for information about my personal life. Of course, I knew this was possible. The Internet is a public forum. But—call me naïve—I thought people had better things to do.

So I’ve got to ask…does it bother you that random comments posted on Twitter, Facebook or blogs could give negative people information to use against you? Do you write under a penname to complicate their search or to protect your family and friends? Do you censor your words, hold back?

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Having not grown up with the Internet, this necessary invasion of my privacy to benefit my career is creeping me out a bit. 🙂 I’m desperate to know if others feel my paranoia or if I’m alone out here on the edge.

How do you balance privacy and publicity while partaking in social media and building a writing career?



7 Responses to “Why Aren’t We More Afraid of Social Media?”

  1. taristhread Says:

    I do worry about this, and have had a scare or two. I have to admit that although I try to censor myself, I tend to be very open…as I am in real life, and I sometimes forget it’s there on the internet for anyone to find!!


    • I’m like you, Tari. I have a very high level of disclosure IRL, which is fine when my interactions are limited to friends and family. Online, I need to hold back on the information a bit.


  2. I’m with you. I recently discovered an entire file of photos on my profile page on Facebook. None of them had anything to do with my “career”. Apparently when I chose to pull one pic out of the file to post on FB, it gave them access to the entire file and they raped it, making it available to anyone checking out my profile. Luckily, there was nothing “compromising” but there were some head shots of a client that I took for his resume! I have since changed my privacy settings to “family” or even “just me”, but I don’t really trust that this is true. I hardly ever post on FB now. I was tempted to opt out altogether, but it is still a nice way to stay in touch with kids and grandkids.

    Maybe it is a generational thing, because younger people just shrug when I tell them about it. They thought my rage was over-paranoid, but I am still creeped out. I don’t feel that this much exposure is necessary for my “career” right now, but eventually I hope to have a website and a book to promote. I’ll have to make the decision then, but I hate it. I’m listed with Google Plus and Linkdin, but any time I try to post, they ask for an okay to use my “information” as well as that of all my “contacts”. Eeuw! My opinion is, it’s gotten way out of hand.

    • Eugenia, that is scary! I try to tell my kids that technology is forever changing and just because something is a certain way now doesn’t mean it will always be. For instance, I heard face recognition is being explored for use on image searches. Here are my kids thinking they can take a snapshot of a friend doing something stupid and post it anonymously on Instagram only to find out 5 or 10 years later that the kid in the photo is identified in searches using face recognition. It’s like living in a SciFi movie. 🙂


  3. nicolehelm Says:

    I become increasingly paranoid the older I get. Part of this is my husband’s influence. As a cop, he tends to be more paranoid than most and it’s definitely rubbed off on me. Just Monday I was going to tweet a flippant comment about someone I had been in contact with that day, but I couldn’t help think she might read it even though she doesn’t follow me (as far as I know). I used to put on Facebook when I was going out of town thinking because I had privacy settings to friends only it was no big deal. Hubby flipped. The thing is, your friend could let others look at your profile or accidentally stay logged In on a public computer. It is a constantly changing world and How I deal with it continues to change too. I’m still pretty open, but I’ve definitely become more careful about what I share.

    • Nicole, I’ve been in that position so many times, about to post a comment–maybe even something funny–about someone I interacted with IRL, and I delete it, because I think anyone can read this. Even if you don’t follow me on Twitter, you can read my tweets via a simple search for my username. The answer isn’t to lock my account, because what does that do for me, the writer? It’s so frustrating to hear people say that the way to more faithful fans is to share more of yourself only to find out that when you do, you make trouble at home. 🙂


  4. Francene Says:

    This is why I use a pen name. I like to keep my writing self and my ‘real’ self separate to avoid problems. Only family and close friends know that I write and I’m happy to keep it this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s