Of all the bloggers out there I read, who have multiple public blogs on varying topics, I wonder how many of them have unpublished drafts hidden in between the published ones, ranting and raving about personal issues they can’t or won’t publish online. Or how many of them have these ranting and raving blogs completely disconnected from all the public websites they are involved with, kept from the light of day, simply to relieve the tension from day to day. It could be the little things like how often the neighbors come and go with the way the gas prices are now (how on earth can they afford it!) to how their boss did or said something totally out of character which was possibly taken out of context. You can never be too careful when hiding the personal things that you need to get out of your head in order to continue working on the meaningful articles, blogs, papers and other types of relevant work.
With how open social networking has become anyone out there can find anything on you if they punch in the right keywords. They don’t even have to be looking specifically for you, either. Perhaps your Facebook profile or something you tweeted just happened to fall into their search criteria. If your profiles are open to the world then they can look at everything about you they may have never wanted to know. Friends, Family, Ex-whatevers. I read an article on Slate today that detailed how the journalists father followed her on Twitter to the point of causing her to alienate her account. This got me to thinking about how often family seems to think that because they are family they have every right to be friended on Facebook; following you on Twitter and any other networking sites you might possibly be on that they can also stalk your every movement and thought.
There always seem to be three options regarding social networking. Allow family and coworkers to interact with you and hope that every word you type isn’t taken in the wrong context; Don’t allow family and/or coworkers on your social sites and keep everything completely private so only actual friends (not friends of friends) are the only ones to see anything at all; and option number three, Keeping one Facebook for Family and/or Coworkers and another Facebook for actual friends who you don’t care if they see those pictures from your weekend out with them. You can also do this with Twitter, and there are people who do have two or three Twitter accounts. Usually there is a personal account for friends and/or family; then the others are used for their public or work-related websites that they are associated with. It could also be one for work, one for family and friends with the other being just for their public sites. There are, however, issues with having so many profiles.
The problem with multiple accounts is that there are multiple accounts. That means an email address or username for each of those accounts, separate passwords would also come in handy. Then keeping track of what you say on which account could become cumbersome and what happens if someone blew up at you over something and you tweeted to the wrong account because that’s the one that you were logged into last? People get upset, more awful things get said, and relationships are (perhaps) broken to the point that there may never be trust again.
The best way to work out this are to figure out what you’re going to use the accounts for, how you’re going to set them up regarding privacy and then treat them as if you’re in a real public place and you don’t want to make a scene. Anything you post can be seen unless you don’t post it. Think before you post. Personally, I feel as if it is my account, my website, my whatever and if it upsets anyone they can click the little red x in the top right corner (or the red circle in the left on mac). You do have to remember though that there are people out there in the world who take every little thing over the top extreme and even if it doesn’t seem all that outrageous to you it may have to them. Think of the outcry when celebrities screw up or have their private parts flopping out due to wardrobe malfunctions. There are people who will take something completely out of context and report you to the highest of authorities. Those authorities could be the report department of Facebook or the hosting provider of your website.
Do what more people should do more often before they open their mouths to speak. Consider the consequences. Then those who are reading your private life story should also take a moment to realize that they aren’t hearing your tone of voice, they aren’t always the subject being crucified in what is being said and that they need to consider a private way of going about getting things taken down if they feel it was over the top outrageous and could possibly cause harm.