Sunday, April 8, 2012

What your Suitcase and your Social Profile have in common

While it's Easter Sunday for many, it's a regular Sunday for me as I gear up for the week. 2 business trips, 2 conferences, 1 board meeting followed by a wedding to attend in Goa. But the hectic schedule is not what stresses me out, I'm used to the pace. It's the what to wear/what to pack condundrum. When I start packing for my overnight trips, I don't just think I need 2 shirts, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of socks etc. like some of my male colleagues. I run through at least 5 factors in my head. Who am I meeting? What's the climate? What's the regional norm? Will I have time to iron my clothes? Will I have time to work out? Who else could be working out at the hotel at the same time? etc etc. Now multiply this by 3 and that's how I am spending my Sunday morning. I am already exhausted and all 3 bags are still empty.

I compare this with my social profiles. I realized I do the same with my social profiles. My Facebook picture is with my husband because that's my closed circle of family and friends, my LinkedIn is my professional network so its a picture of me in my business suit. My Twitter picture is a semi casual picture because my tweeple are mostly from the technology, marketing and media spheres and the same with my blog picture. My FB status updates are vastly different from my BB updates, Tweets and blogposts. What does all this actually mean?

No, it doesn't (just) mean that I overthink everything. It means that my online and offline social behavior are consistent. I don't share anything in a social network that I wouldn't share with that same group of friends or followers over coffee, a meeting, at a party. There is some overlap between professional and personal, but not much. So it is no surprise that I have very few colleagues on my Facebook and BBM and very few friends and family in my LinkedIn group. My husband and I are from different industries so it's not surprising that he doesn't follow me on Twitter (he tried reading my tweets once, got bored within a minute and stopped).

How consciously do you or should you manage your social identity? How do you decide what is appropriate in which social network? Do you link your status updates on all your networks so everyone sees the same thing?


  1. How we manage our professional life is how we manage our professional life(almost).. it will be no different with social profiles..Its behavior : online or offline doesn't matter..
    Behavior is most likely driven by who we are...

    Anyways.. I quite like your blogs.. keep sharing your thoughts :)

  2. What happens, when you lead with storytelling, break into contextualisation, create relevance through personalisation and raise a question which is pertinent? It makes people think and that's what this blog does. Though I still am not on a strong fundamental base on whether the same content should be shared across multiple social networks, the answer to me is how you define and create your own community. In your case you have created and managed them in a mirror of your real life social network to build on authenticity and consistency. And from that pov it's a best practice. Interesting article. Thought provoking as well. Kudos!

  3. Hi
    You presented an interesting point of view with this blog, actually we dont generally think thru these things until we are compelled by reads like these... You definitely made best use of Easter ;)

    Keep going!

  4. Interesting blog. Especially your style and the context. Waiting to see/read more.