Social media has changed all of our lives forever. It’s now possible to let the world know where you are, who you are with, and what you’re doing no matter where in the world you live or are visiting at that moment. You can upload photographs, share your videos, record your voice, or simply say it in 140 characters or less over at Twitter.
Everyone pretty much agrees that the only social media sites you need to use are the ‘Big Three’ – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By setting up accounts at these sites, filling out your profile information, and learning the basics of how to communicate with others, the world will become a much smaller place.
The only question that continues to arise in all of our minds is:
How do we know when the information we are sharing publicly through social media is simply too much information?
This was important to me from the very beginning, so I began to take a look at what others were doing to see what would feel most comfortable to me and my family. Once you put it out on the Internet, it’s there for the world to see, so you must have a strategy to follow.
My family is very private, so we agreed from the beginning that we would not share pictures of any family member who is under eighteen. We have all honored that promise to this day. It is also very seldom that I will post a picture or talk about personal information from the adults in my family.
I am now a public figure, so this means that pictures of me at live events I attend regularly will be everywhere. I love that part of my business and continue to feel grateful that anyone wants to have their picture taken with me. On any given day over at Facebook you will see me giving a status update or a link to one of my sites, and I am thrilled when the comments and ensuing conversation takes off.
Once in awhile there are situations where the line is more blurred. I may want to share about something more private and personal, so this must be done in a manner that respects the privacy of everyone involved.
I can remember when I made my first tweet that was personal in nature. It was the summer of 2009, and my family was hosting an exchange student from China. When we pulled up in front of our house for the first time he commented that he had never known anyone who lived in a two-layer, meaning a two-story, home. We had all thought that was just so cute we wanted to share it with others. Never calling him by name, especially because he was only sixteen, I went on to share much more about this young man over the course of that summer. He was a classically trained pianist, so I recorded the audio of him playing. When we went to Disneyland, it was a picture of Mickey Mouse that was posted to my Facebook page. As we gathered to say goodbye when he was to return home to China, the pictures I shared did not reveal faces that could be recognized. We had successfully shared our joy without compromising our privacy.
Decide right now what the boundaries will be for sharing personal information on your social media accounts. Discuss this with your family and close friends to make sure you are all on the same page.