Where’s the line?

These days, it is impossible to log on to Facebook or Twitter without seeing someone’s rant or overly-detailed status update. The rise of social media has led to a widespread culture of what I refer to as “oversharing”. We’re so quick to share our experiences, both positive and negative, with our digital networks through photos and statuses. But what’s the cost?

Some people believe that sharing their experiences, opinions, and family or personal news on social media is brave and courageous.

However, posts that detail your every hour spent, your medical or health complaints, your child’s achievements, injuries or doctor visits, and romantic lives are just over the top. Privacy should still remain intact, regardless of what other people on your news feed are posting.

I think the bigger question is, who is your audience? Are you sharing with your business colleagues, potential clients, or family and friends? Your generation may have a big effect on your digital audience. For instance, someone in Generation X is more likely to have a mix of business contacts and personal friendships on social media than a member of Generation Y. What happens when we blur the fine line between business and personal?

I once heard a brilliant statement, “The Internet is not written in pencil, it’s written in ink.” As we all know, what you post online doesn’t disappear – no matter how hard you may try. What often begins as a brief status update or an album of family photos can quickly cross the line into oversharing. In a culture obsessed with social networks, gossip magazines and reality TV, it leaves us asking, “how detailed is too detailed?”

What are your posting guidelines? How do you determine what updates are acceptable for social media? How do you separate the personal from business – or don’t you? We’d love your feedback in the comments below!