Five minutes after I had responded to a rather simplistic question a connection of mine had posted on my favourite professional social media platform (Q: In 2 words what would I tell my younger self. A: Be yourself) I started reading one of those blog posts the same platform regularly suggests reading.
It was an interesting and unpretentious little article which I found myself reading almost in spite of myself but it was an article that got me thinking, not only about my own path until this current point in time, but also about where the hell was I going to share it to, a real dilemma!
Like most people today I’ve got accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+ and of course LinkedIn and like a lot of people I use each of them for very distinct purposes, for example Facebook to communicate with the extended family and some close friends, Instagram for my son who opted out of Facebook some time ago and LinkedIn for my purely professional shares and interactions, and while there may be crossovers the ultimate purpose of each platform is clearly defined and rigorously respected.
Twitter and G+ though are a bit different. Twitter is where I figuratively kick a soccer ball around, and read fringe Tech news (the sort that doesn’t get onto LinkedIn), and G+ is my mystic “Green Zone”, where, incidentally I converse with a sibling without it degenerating into the usual older brother/younger brother scuffling banter that probably started when I was 5 or 6 year old and shamelessly decided to sink his HMS Ark Royal in the bath tub one evening, I digress but all the same remember the path I mentioned above!
Until today the status quo in my Social Media world had been happily balanced and the multiversal order maintained, maintained that is, until I had an exchange with a rather gifted communicator who asked if I had a Twitter account so that I could follow and interact on some of her publications, outside of a professional environment and then it occurred to me. How mature was my Social Media environment? Was I the suave & sophisticated Medianaut I wanted people to think I was?
Social media maturity and responsibility!
Not everybody thinks about it, or maybe they do, but after a couple of Mojitos down at the local bar & grill who cares anyway. It’s easy to shoot off a 144 character rant at someone more or less deserving or troll an embarrassing Saturday night photo of somebody ten years after they’d removed from their timeline. I’d like to say the days are gone when I might have used unflattering language on Social Media when responding to some crass remark by some illiterate medianaut but there you go, Internet has a long, no, unlimited memory, and there are people and algorithms out there that make it their villain pleasure to bring things you wish lost forever back to light at the wrong moment.
I did some soul-searching, not to mention a little chaos checking and not finding anything I wouldn’t want to read on a Monday morning, or that could be taken out of context, I considered opening my, more of a schoolyard sandpit than secret garden, Twitter account to this gifted communicator, not because this person is probably a FC Barcelona supporter couldn’t care less if I support Chelsea FC, that my favourite Spanish team is FC Valencia, or because it was time to grow up and move on either…
And then, I thought again and decided not to. It wasn’t as if I didn’t want to let a thoroughly cosmopolitan communicator into my sandpit – because of what kids can get up to in sandpits – no, it was more about maintaining the sacrosanct status quo and multiversal balance. If I have painstakingly designed such a structure (and if you’re picturing a 17th century English garden you have my unending admiration, because it’s probably more like my mum’s back garden) with all my Social Media accounts why not add another account, in this case a second Twitter account, for this particular channel and so keep order. The fact that I now need to keep track on what I post where is a matter of Social media maturity and responsibility but I think its worth it, and after all if I do it others do too, and should there be any cross-overs then welcome be the visitor who, eventually finding the door, wanders through. Welcome, and be not judging because as another fittingly said, life is a map and we all have our maps.