“O Brave New World”

I’ve had two brief brushes with virtual fame in the last 40 days.  Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe) retweeted one of my tweets to his 100,000+ followers on June 1.  On July 3 I tweeted a question into Book TV’s In Depth interview with Linda Hogan.  My name was used and Linda carefully answered my question.  In both cases I felt so validated, like somebody special.

Social media networks are becoming an increasingly part of our communication overlay.  Even Prince George County Government has a twitter account @PrinceGeorgeVA.  Authors sell their books on social media.  Politicos, or at least their staffs, are becoming social media savvy.  Even Joe Biden became a tweeter yesterday …well his office staff did.

When I started tweeting, linkingin and facebooking a couple of years ago, I had thought that I would communicate about different matters on different platforms.  I could be a stalwart liberal democrat on Twitter, a serious professional woman on Linkedin and a fun-loving Rotarian on Facebook.  It didn’t totally work out that way.

Many of the people and groups that followed me, connected with me or friended me did so on all those platforms.  I couldn’t be different people of different networks.  When I realized that, I connected by Twitter account to my Linkedin account.  That went on for a while and then I realized that the “character”  of 140 character tweet wasn’t really compatible with the more loquacious discussions on Linkedin.  I then uncoupled the two after having had to put out a tweet seeking help on how to do it.

Though we can keep our communities small on all three of the platforms, limiting access to  just family, co-workers, etc., most of us are not  being that selective, preferring to enter into discourse with those in  the greater world community.

Even if you keep your virtual community small and controlled, be aware that there really is no anonymity and virtually so secrets.  Employers search social media to scope out job applicants.  If you have a virtual presence that the potential employer finds inconsistent with its brand,  you may not be hired.  If the potential employer finds you have no virtual presence, that also may bd applied negatively to your prospects with that company.

Soon we will have Google+ beckoning to us and we may be able to Skype on Facebook in the near future.  Our exposure will only increase.

Advice …

-don’t expect to be anonymous

-respect the privacy of those in your personal life

-remember Shakespeare’s line,  “To thine own self be true.”  Be who you are, but remember that is how the “world” will know you.

What has been your experience on Social media?

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