How Personal is Personal?

4 Jun

One question that constantly needs addressing in the social media world is the question of personal versus professional interaction.

Especially lately with all the uproar over Facebook’s privacy policies, I’ve always been one to blend my personal and professional lives on my social media accounts. Even now with my current position, when commissioners request to friend me on Facebook, usually I tell them that I don’t have anything to hide and I don’t mind accepting their requests. Because in all honesty, I really don’t. I don’t party hard, I don’t engage in embarrassing activities after work hours, and I have found that my friends are all people I really am proud to say I know.


Last Friday, something happened in my life that I could not bring myself to share with everyone. I wanted to tell close friends, but I could not do so without alerting everyone in my social networks. I chose my words carefully, and I posted very little to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. All I wanted to do though, was break down and tell a few close friends and family what was really going on and how much I genuinely needed support.

My 20 year old cousin very unexpectedly passed away and my entire life was put on hold. I don’t exaggerate when I say my family is my rock and when something such as death breaks our strength, my whole world came to a stop even as life went on.


This past weekend has propelled me to question just how ‘personal’ I am on these social networks. Yes, I accept both professional and personal friend requests and yes, I do post content that relates to my job as well as my life as a recent college grad, but really… I’m not sure if I’m genuinely close with 90% these people.

In a time where I needed love and support from just a few select close contacts, I found that my networks were TOO big and TOO impersonal. In other words, while I use social media for personal as well as professional interactions, these networks are not my real personal connection to people.

* Thanks to those who gave their love and support over this past week. I truly appreciate it.


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