How Personal Is Too Personal?

This is a concept I struggle with.  Facebook, Twitter and now here, on my bloghow personal is too personal?  

On Facebook it seems like people project an image; here is my perfect life, my smiling children, my handsome husband and our designer dog (for example).  It all seems sugar-coated, hardly anyone shares bad news or feelings about a bad day.  I use Facebook differently.  I think of it as a tool to stay connected with the people we don’t get to see or talk to every day, a way to keep up with the latest in our friends and families lives, and a place where we can interact with one another.  I ask my Facebook friends for their opinions or suggestions, yet I rarely get any, and then I get annoyed and may openly rant a little about the lack of interaction.  After such a rant my mother “reminds” me not to share things that are negative, and one time my sister even posted a comment saying, “You are really mad at Facebook today!”

So now I ask you, yes YOU… is Facebook not a forum for interacting with our “friends” and expressing ourselves?

Then there is Twitter.  What is the intended use for Twitter?  Should you share your real name and/or location?  Is it appropriate to promote your business to your “followers,” or not so much?  Can you really say whatever you want?  Well, in my experience, people use Twitter for everything.  Some use their real identity, some don’t; many promote their businesses (myself included), while others use it as distinctly personal; you really can say whatever you want, just be prepared for backlash from other enthusiastic Twitterers.  Some people bare their souls, others are all about the latest joke format that’s trending; you will find hateful tweets ripe with racism, and others promoting peace; some people say there are unwritten rules to Twitter, while others find that notion laughable.

So, is it even possible to get too personal on Twitter?

And now, how personal is too personal when you’re blogging?  Obviously there are people who have no qualms about getting personal on their blogs, and that is great, I love the honesty.  So I guess with this one I am referring to my own blog, whose intended purpose is not only to promote Contortum Designs, but to make a deeper connection with potential/current customers and anyone who has a passion for handmade jewelry.  With that in mind, do I post only about my craft?  Does my intended target audience want to hear about my life aside from making jewelry?  Can I bare my soul and still be professional?  How personal is too personal???

I would love to hear from YOU… opinions? comments? suggestions? Please, join the conversation!

xoxo

p.s. Added a new piece to Currently For Sale!  Take a look, let me know what you think!

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20 thoughts on “How Personal Is Too Personal?

  1. Those are some great questions, and I think your observations about Facebook are dead on. Depending on your circle of “friends,” it can easily become more like a constant class reunion, with everyone talking about their accomplishments and vacations.

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  2. I struggle with this idea as well. A while back I was part of an online forum and ended up getting stalked by my husband’s ex-girlfriend. I had aired some very personal stuff and didn’t do a very good job of masking my identity; she found me and engaged in conversation as if she was a stranger. (I later found out when she admitted to my husband what she did.) It does seem that many people have an internet alter-ego, and I find that hard to wade through – I’m the type of person who bares all without thinking of the consequences (as evidenced in my story above), but I worry about how that will affect me in the long run and how, if at all, it may affect my kids.
    Personally, I would love to read more about how you got into making jewelry and your journey as an entrepreneur.

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    • Thank you for commenting! I would have felt totally violated in the situation you mentioned above! Somehow it’s ok to bare our souls when we think everyone reading it is a stranger, but it gets much stickier when it’s people you know. It’s great to know you are interested in my journey as a jeweler and entrepreneur, motivation to keep writing!

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  3. I can’t stop myself from asking those questions, and they always come back to “why do I feel the need to share such intimate details about myself?”

    I blame reality TV and how we all secretly wish we were starring our own show about our own selves.

    I am always so careful about what I share publicly. Most times when I apply for jobs I’m asked to provide my social media links. If I share bad news, I make sure to keep it clean – I’m not attacking anybody, blaming anyone (person or corporation), I just share the shit falling on me usually with a hint of humor. I do curate myself, and sometimes will backtrack and delete stuff. My husband just got fired for a text message he sent to an old friend (the texts were sent months ago, but the counteraction happened this week). Putting stuff out there always runs risks: who will see it, and who will be offended by it. And who will want to destroy you for it…

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  4. You are so on-target with your assessments of social media. I have trouble with Facebook.
    I thinks it’s because I expected a lot of the same things you have mentioned. I don’t Twitter.
    I am having a hard time keeping up with the many sites I have. I don’t want to add any more.
    It doesn’t help my business’ either. I am a retired jeweler of 28 years. I am a silversmith. I have Etsy
    accounts and several others as my husband is a copper artist. We haven’t succeeded yet in making it
    on the e commerce world. Ssoooo … why do I blog??? AT times, to express a bit of frustration. Recent frustration, due to harrassment, cause me to delete my writing blog posts on http://insidethemindofisadora.com/ so my posts are very few but pop on by. I have an art blog called
    http://isadoraartandphotography.com/
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/copperwhimseasbyal/
    Your blog looks good to me. I agree with Ned – post as if you are speaking to someone in person including the tone. Words properly placed can create a tone.
    Best of Luck with your blog and creative jewelry.
    Namaste
    Isadora

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  5. I saw your recent request for review on the WordPress forum and popped over here. Your design looks clean and fresh. But I had to stop and comment. This is a question I had just asked someone about. I tend to not talk about my personal life except for the minimum because I don’t’ want to share too much. We end up with so many ‘friends’ on Facebook and other social media, but the truth is most are not our friends. They’re acquaintances, or people we work with, or friends of friends, or friends of the family, or someone pretending to be someone else.

    If I share personal information, I first ask myself if I would feel comfortable if my family, boss, friends, pastor, CPA, etc., read the comment. But I’m pretty conservative.

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  6. This is a very timely post, young lady.
    I know a few bloggers who have become close enough to risk meeting face-to-face. Most of these meetings have gone fine, but one never knows what to expect. (There was even a short-lived romance between two bloggers I know that resulted in the young lady relocating. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t last.)

    As for sharing personal info and anecdotes, the decision is subjective. Focus on your blog’s primary purpose while revealing whatever personal info you feel comfortable with. I don’t need to know your deepest, most intimate secrets to enjoy your designs and personality. Above all, never forget to have fun while blogging, baby!

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  7. I have found that I have been somewhat mortified at some extremely personal posts people have placed on facebook detailing their latest partner arguments and the like. People have to learn to censor some things. as for twitter, if you do not use your real name, then go all out!

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    • Thank you for commenting! There are things about my person life that I just can’t decide if I should share on my blog. I think it comes down to theme, what you are using your blog for. So in my case, I should probably spare the personal details and stick to my creative journey. Though my personal life/experiences play into my creative journey. And that is my conundrum lol

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  8. It’s really up to you. I assume that anything I write — FB, Twitter, blog — can be read by anyone, and people I don’t expect. So whatever I share there, it’s whatever I’m OK with people knowing about me, even if it’s somewhat (or very) personal. There are many issues I won’t discuss on social media.

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