Ok, so for those with families, let me ask you a question. Do you have the same conversations and relationships with your kids as you do with your co-workers? What about your spouse? Do you discuss the exact things you talk about with your friends at work? Now what about your friends you have on Facebook? Or LinkedIn and Twitter? This discussion has permeated throughout the bloggosphere in result of numerous incidents that have occurred.
Think about it. Some of your closest friends may be on Facebook as well as some of your client contacts. The material I share with some of my friends may not be the best thing for my clients to see. And what about potential employers? Universities are informing students about the dangers of open social sites in that inappropriate material could mean whether or not they get the job or not. In fact, I know of some Universities that place mandatory rules on their student athletes about Facebook and MySpace postings. It is not just the student they are protecting, it is the image of their athletic program.
On the other hand, others debate this self censoring as a fear dynamic. A suppression of freedom. By not allowing yourself the ability to express yourself and communicate freely removes you from the debate and valuable feedback from your peers and friends. Well, you could look at it that way, but I wonder if this is more about social relevance instead of censorship as a whole. What I say and communicate on LinkedIn is quite different than what I post on Facebook.
With open ID (one singular identity profiles) like Plaxo, it allows you to sync up all your social networks and media together so that you don’t have to fill out numerous membership profiles for all the different social sites. The dangers of this is that you may be posting relevant material for a specific community only to find out that open ID synched it all together. In other words, it combines everything you post no matter what the community in one spot. Facebook allows everything you tweet about to be posted right to your wall. Blogging software enables everything you post to also be posted to other communities as well.
With all of this power of open social, I personally censor myself on social sites. Not to suppress myself, but to be relevant. What about you?
Oh my oh my. A great example to add to the debate of self censoring. What is scary is how fast this tweet made it through the networks.