I've been thinking about how I present myself online, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on this blog. Certain people follow me for specific aspects of my personality: those who are into the self-improvement, productivity, and OmniFocus topics; those interested in R and data analysis; and maybe a small group interested in video games and other topics.
Every time I want to post about one topic I think wonder about the people in the other groups. Will the productivity folks be bothered if I talk about games? Would this article, that you are reading right now, seem silly to the stats and data analysis people? I know that I shouldn't care and yet I think about it anyway.
I think about it because I've been on the other side. I've unfollowed people who tweet 20 times a day about seemingly irrelevant topics. I pick specific episodes of certain podcasts to listen to. I curate a list of articles in Pocket and leave a whole slew of other ideas to one side.
If you allow me to generalize, it seems we dissect people's personality and grab what we like. We chose what we see and when to see it; turning social media platforms into a content libraries. Is that healthy? Are we not missing out on new ideas if we build an ever-expanding echo-chamber?
Seen from another angle, should I build a fence around my personality so as to not disturb other people's echo-chambers? Ultimately, I need to understand why I write articles or post things on twitter.
Sharing is part of natural human behaviour, otherwise we wouldn't see as many as 7200 tweets, 700 Instagram photos, 1000 Tumblr posts shared every second. The quantity of content is staggering. But what purpose does it serve. As always the answer is complicated and not perfectly understood.
It seems there are many reasons for sharing like impression management, emotional regulation, learning and teaching, social bonding, and persuasion. I've pretty much hit all 5 categories, I want to present an honest image of who I am as a person, share in the joy and hardships as a way to teach and support others. I've tried to share ideas in an effort to persuade people that certain techniques and ideas are beneficial, and have enjoyed building connections as a result of the content I've created.
I think there is an additional reason why I share and that's the simple joy found in getting something out of your head and into the world. If I make a connection with somebody, that's great; if not I still got the thought out of my head. I think those reasons are good enough and there are always going to be people willing to read.
So in the spirit of sharing, are there any ideas that you've been afraid to share? Post them in the comments below or tweet at me @bkkkk
Until next Time. Have a great one.
-- Jay Blanco