Bringing your whole self to social media

Well? Do you?

Thanks @Rjsutcliffe for your permission to blog about this

I had this brilliant exchange on Twitter a few weeks ago and it’s stirred a thought I wanted to expand on. 
Few people out there use social media as the front for their whole selves. They tend to slice themselves up. (cue link to spurious blog header pic..)

On Instagram, there’s a generation of people who only show their best sides (literally and figuratively). LinkedIn is all about their professional selves. And Facebook is predominantly personal. Twitter; it’s common for people to have multiple accents for different versions of themselves. 

Back in the real world, the workplace is now becoming a place where we’re encouraged to bring our whole selves to work. As it’s Pride month, I’ve seen more about workers being reminded that employers wants them to do that. It’s good for business, after all! But it’s not just a sexual identity initiative – also a drive around cultural or disability issues. Everyone has a culture and everyone has a level of ability. We don’t want anyone having to feel the need to hide or overlook a key part of their lives, just because they’re at work. 

And so for me, the same should apply to social. I’m regularly asked by colleagues if they should have a work profile and a personal one. My reply? “When you’re at work, do you ever talk about [Insert something personal here – sport/home/family/hobbies/Interests]” – So why not feel the same on social? On my LinkedIn profile, I include my rugby refereeing roles – so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if I sometimes share rugby related things – indeed, a chunk of my connections are rugby related. On my Twitter handle, I outline the areas of my life, so it’s a heady mix of social, employee advocacy, family, rugby, Zurich etc!

Obviously it goes back to having a “why” on whichever channel you have. Why are you on there? Then, of course, focus on that thing. But of that’s all you’re doing there, then that’d probably be dull. Don’t ever feel you need to hide an element of your self, just because it’s social.  Bring your whole self to social!  

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