Social Media Warning Labels: May cause dry mouth and privacy concerns

Social media may not actually cause dry mouth but it will almost undoubtedly cause you to have concerns over privacy at some point.
Here are some examples of privacy concerns that I have heard from people in the past 3-4 months alone:

How do you separate your personal life from your professional life?

This one is obvious and extremely common.  Who doesn’t worry about their boss seeing “those” pictures on Facebook?   With the rise in digital cameras and video, data is flowing at all times.  The truth is that you rarely are even in control of what pictures or videos of you appear online.

How do you selectively share content?

It can be difficult figuring out how to segment YOU to the myriad of different audiences you have.

The content you share with your BFF might not be wholly appropriate for your clients to see, but you want to be social on your social channels, right?

I’m not comfortable sharing my location.

Think about the idea of Foursquare 10 years ago…it could sound terrifying. How do I know that? Because people are terrified about it NOW, in today’s world.  You know why geo-location hasn’t REALLY taken off yet, because most people are still terrified.

I dont want to make my [birthday, maiden name, dog’s name] public.

Security is another aspect of privacy.  When does giving away information open you up to danger?

What’s safe, what’s not?

Social media isn’t all fun and games or conversations and fans. There are serious implications of this HUGE move towards a more open and connected society.  It’s often hard to determine what is safe and what is not.

What is Privacy?

I don’t have an answer to that question. That’s a serious question. What does privacy even mean, where should you expect to have it?  The answer to that question is changing as we change our behavior.

The most important word in privacy: Control

The part that upsets most people is when they lose control, something that is very easy to do in Social Media.  When Facebook and other sites decide FOR us how to share our data, that’s when we cry “Privacy FAIL!”  The concern people have isn’t that they don’t want to share, it’s more often that they want to control how and with whom they share.

The role of Social Media Professionals

Understanding what’s great about social media is one thing but it’s not everything. Many of us in this business talk a lot about the upside without really acknowledging the downside. If you work in social media, you are probably used to checking in and having a more open privacy settings, or at least you’ve looked at privacy settings. But that’s not the norm…yet.

I’m very close to someone who has been on Facebook since 2006-ish…she has NEVER posted a status update. I find that amazing.

We have to take the time to listen to what others are saying and not just push an agenda that suits our model.  It is the Social Media professionals that should be pushing against social sites, NOT users.  People will share more as time goes on, behavior changes.

Ask your doctor if Facebook lists are right for you.