…and this is not an invitation…
So can you be both closed and open in social media? Is it oxymoronic to be unsocial and be on social media?
I have been writing and reading many discussions recently on the openness of social media and identity.
Lawrie in a recent post on his blog recounted a story about an adventure on a boat and the potential impact having an active social media life can have on your real life. He makes this point in his post:
There is a role for curating your online self, a conscious curation, it does not have to impact on who you are as a person, your authenticity or credibility, but we should be mindful.
What I found interesting about the story was how being somewhat open and public on the internet, there was an assumption by some in that story that those same behaviours that we find online are acceptable offline in the physical world. It made me reflect on identity both online and offline. Can we be social online and not as social offline? What do we mean by social and what norms of behaviours are acceptable and which are not.
There is a balance between what you do online and undertaking a similar approach offline. I occasionally chat with people on the Twitter, discuss presentations at conferences and re-tweet and like posts that other people make. Off the Twitter, I occasionally chat with people on the train, or in the supermarket, I may discuss presentations at conferences whilst queuing for coffee, and will applaud at appropriate moments.
Though I do talk to retail assistants and other customers in shops, or chat to people at a conference, neither of those behaviours as far as I am concerned do not mean I am your friend and you can pop around my house whenever you feel like it! In a similar vein, just because I @ you in a tweet, or heart your tweet, comment on your blog, this doesn’t mean I feel I can pop around your house for a cup of tea, or you can visit me for Sunday lunch.