Transparency in your online communication

Since Northern Voice last weekend, I’ve been thinking alot about transparency in a person’s online life and how that translates into “real life.”

Recently, I read this article on what not to share online:

8 Shocking (and Hilarious) Social Media Gaffes

“There is no such thing as a private or personal profile and then a professional one. If it is on the Internet, it ALL better be professional, period.”

I sent this article to a friend, wondering if it was just me that thought the eight things seemed a little overboard, and she summed it up pretty well:

Scare tactics. And, essentially, survival of the fittest, no? If you’re an idiot, people are going to find out.

At Northern Voice, Saturday’s keynote speaker, Chris Wilson spoke about transparency and how you should be free to be who you are both online and off. I particularly loved this quote he shared:

Years ago, I chose to live my life with the kind of transparency that would create real connections to real people and ever since then my life became fantastically uncommonly amazing.Yes, it leaves me incredibly vulnerable, but it also creates an amazing amount of safety for me. Having real connections with real people means that I have an enormous group of people who would take a bullet for me.The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.

-Tara “@missrogue” Hunt

I couldn’t agree more. Now, if all your Facebook photos are of you getting sloppy drunk in a bar, that says something. But if you are open about who you are and what you believe, I think it shows your online connections who you are as a person. There’s real value in that. Especially in an online world where people sometimes don’t meet face-to-face, or conduct business via email or text. You can miss out on that human element of who you are interacting with on a regular basis. That honesty and transparency is what makes online communication real, and hence allows people to translate those relationships into “real life” relationships.

Besides, it’s not about who might see what you post online, it’s about who you are. “If you’re an idiot, people are going to find out.” I find it boring when people are consistently portraying their lives, their families, their homes and so on as perfect. No one is perfect, and we all know it. I also don’t believe that everything you post online should be professional. Only posting things you would want your mother to see? Really? No one lives like that in their personal life, why should it be that way online?

I hope that as time goes on people realize that online communication can be “real” communication, and realize the value in transparency. It’s true that it’s survival of the fittest. If you are an inspiring person in your personal life, it will show online, and vice versa. As they say, you take the good with the bad, and accept people “warts and all.”

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One response to “Transparency in your online communication

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