One of the arguments of the proponents of social media is that the audience reigns, choosing which content it wants to consume. Broadcasting is bad, the logic goes, because it doesn’t target messages to specific audiences and doesn’t allow them to choose the desired content.
On that basis, my admittedly limited experience with Twitter makes me feel like many of the people on the network are guilty of the same crime, except worse: at least with the TV guide, I knew when to tune in to get the content I wanted!
I admit that many human relationships are in a grey zone between personal and professional, but there are stages along that spectrum. My family and friends are generally purely social. Indeed, many of them have no idea what I do for a living. Most of the people I work with are purely professional: I would never invite them over for dinner. And then there are the people with whom I might go out for drinks, but they won’t be invited past my moat.
There are definitely gradations. I probably wouldn’t care if most professional contacts heard that I was getting married. But that doesn’t mean I’d invite them to my wedding.
Applying this logic, I use various social media differently. Facebook is purely social: my acid test is whether you would care to see pictures of my godson or not. However, I still take care not to post content that would embarass me if it escaped from the zoo. LinkedIn is purely professional.
But I can’t figure out the way many people use Twitter. There are a lot of people I am following because I respect their professional perspective. I think I can learn from them. But here’s the rub: I really couldn’t care less when they pour their next cuppa. If they were my best friends from primary school, maybe I would. Why is it considered such anathema in the Twitter world to have two channels: MePro and MePerso? If you have a thought that is so revolutionary that everyone most know, surely you could easily tweet it to both?
Which makes me wonder if these people aren’t guilty of committing the same crime for which they condemn the broadcasters: being too lazy to make it easy for the consumer to filter the content. Or maybe they’re just being nice to the clever person who know has the opportunity to invent the drivel filter?