I wrote the article below for Medium.com recently and wanted to post it here as well. Several industry experts have noted a trend towards privacy in social media for 2016.
How I manage my own online privacy…
As much as I love Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn- it is definitely nice to be able to have a private platform to invite different groups of people into different parts of my life. I used Frienedy.com for this. My family sees the real me- the unfiltered version. My work group sees the more professional version of me, focused on sharing content and engaging with my team spread out across the country. And, then there are groups formed around trips to FL with friends, my daughters’ sports teams, my wine drinking buddies, neighbors, you get the gist. The beauty of it? No one sees what I don’t want them to see, rather they see only and exactly what I’m sharing in that specific group. None of what I post can be found in a search engine, and no one can click on my user profile and put the pieces of my life together. AND, no one can find any of these groups I’ve formed or been invited to – and ask to join. All groups are by invitation only.
Using public social media to reflect a personal brand…
I’ve come to realize that my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts must represent my “personal brand.” The “me” that I am completely ok with hundreds of millions of people seeing. I’ve reigned in the photos I share and am careful not to express polarizing opinions, as public social media is my billboard. As with all of us, many judgments are made based on what we post on social media. I still share on public social media, but much of it centers around my interests, hobbies, positive stories that inspire, or things that make me laugh and I think will give others a chuckle as well.
Frankly, it’s difficult and tedious to stay on top of the ever-changing and evolving privacy settings within Facebook, especially. So, I’m putting it out here- I don’t use them. It’s just easier for me to use Frienedy as my filter. If I’m ok with 1.4 billion people potentially seeing something- that’s the rule I use for whether or not to post on Facebook. Everything else goes into Frienedy. For Twitter and Instagram, I use the same philosophy. And, for LinkedIn, since that is more of a business networking application, the tendency to overshare there is not an issue for most of us.
Hope you enjoy the article. I would love hear your comments and thoughts below!