of Crafty Wonderland and Bossa Nova Baby
I was really excited when I was asked to do this guest post about social media and privacy because it has been something I’ve been struggling with for awhile.
I most certainly love The Facebook and admit to spending more time than I should perusing it’s pages when I should be doing other things. I held off joining Instagram for a long time, knowing it would be yet another thing that would suck up my valuable time…but, alas, I finally gave in and absolutely love it!
I had originally intended to talk about online PRIVACY because I am the person that is very careful about posting personal details about where I live, when I am on vacation and where my kid goes to school. But I feel like that is pretty much standard stuff that most people are aware of at this point.
Once I started processing my thoughts, I realized that the strongest of my mixed emotions were actually more about CURATION – editing all the babble that we throw out there for our friends and followers to process.
Social media has become so overwhelming that I feel like I need to take a few steps back and figure out exactly who and what I want to be in that world. And I think most people could benefit from doing the same.
Admit it…we all have at least one FB friend who drives us crazy with their posts. Whether it’s complaining, bragging or just plain mundane stuff…sometimes we just get pushed over that edge of what we can handle and we do the unmentionable…HIDE them from our feed! I don’t know about you, but I most certainly do not want to be that person!
I confess that I lean towards being a chronic over-sharer! Ask any one of my friends and they will tell you that I am often guilty of saying something out loud that should probably be kept in the depths of my brain. Most of the time the people I am with understand me and laugh it off. But it’s easy to forget that saying something like that to a group of three girlfriends is very different from putting it on Facebook for hundreds or possibly thousands of friends, acquaintances, strangers and business associates to see.
I think we have lost sight of just how wide our social media audience is and don’t realize how many people are seeing the personal information that we quietly type from our living rooms.
I also feel like we are getting to a point where every moment of our lives has to be documented with a tweet, status update or an Instagram photo. We have to give the cyber world a play by play of exactly what we are eating, where we are eating it and who we are eating it with. Instead of just sitting and enjoying a good meal with friends, we are photographing that meal and feverishly posting and hashtagging it for other people to see. So often I will be at a restaurant and look around to see tables of people focused on their devices rather than enjoying the good company of their companions.
Again, I am definitely guilty of doing just this on occasion but more and more I’m making concerted efforts to avoid falling into this trap and just enjoy the moment. If I really want to document something I will take a quick photo then post about it later when I get home.
I don’t claim to know exactly where the line is that should or should not be drawn.
I think the line probably falls in a different place for each person. But I think we all need to practice a little curation and come up with some personal rules to apply to our social media use.
I’ve come up with my own set of loose rules but by no means do they apply to everyone. I suggest coming up with your own list of things that you do / don’t want to put out into the universe via social media and try sticking to them.
These are mine…
- No drunk posting. EVER. Late night posting after a few cocktails is never good!
- No photos of my shoes.
- Less photos of my cocktails / meals / cats.
- No complaining about the weather. I live in Portland. I could do this every day given the chance.
- Keep it light and positive.
- No unflattering photos of myself or my friends. We all have unflattering photos posted by friends on Facebook and those are the ones that show up first in your profile! Un-tag yourself for pete’s sake! It’s totally acceptable and your friends will get the hint.
For my own therapy and specifically to help me avoid breaking rules #1 and #5, I started keeping a secret file on my laptop of “Aborted Facebook Status Updates”.
I highly recommend it as a therapeutic way to release what you are feeling without having any regret about what you have shared with the world. Plus it’s pretty hysterical to look back on later! Thank goodness I never publicly posted “Those perfect bloggers can kiss my white ass!”
Cathy Pitters is a mom, artist and seamstress who lives in the lovely city of Portland, Oregon. She creates one of a kind, vintage-inspired clothing and accessories that she sells in shops and craft fairs across the country under the name Bossa Nova Baby. She is co-founder + organizer of Crafty Wonderland, an art + craft event that, over the last five years, has evolved from a smaller monthly show to a large scale twice yearly event and also a downtown retail shop. In her spare time, Cathy can be found digging for treasure at thrift stores and drinking coffee.
Could you use a little more curation in your social media world? What would some of your personal rules for posting be?
We and Cathy would love to hear what you think!