Let's be clear about transparency in social media. There is no "one rule that fits all" definition of transparency, IMHO. I have found that when I fully embrace who I am, the relationships I make both personally and professionally, are much richer because I'm being as honest and open as possible. There is also no "one rule that fits all" with regard to applying common sense. If one is posting on any social media platform, there's a level of discretion with regard to work related comments. The discretionary bottom line shifts for personal posts, or for posts that reflect comments about the organizations I represent.
But common sense and restraint are often challenged by the changing levels of privacy of social media platforms. While I can create "circles" of friends on Google+, or levels of access on my Facebook Friends list, not all privacy features of the platforms are clearly articulated. The lesson I learn over and over again, read the fine print on all the updated security policies for each and every social media platform you use.
What new trigger did I learn about Facebook this week? "Liking" a post cannot be limited in the news feed. The "like" feature is kind of fickle on the ticker. Businesses who encourage happy or potential customers to "like" their business in order for a spot on someones news feed are not always seen. This feature is constantly being updated. Never a dull moment in social media, is there?
No dull moments in learning by doing either. While I fully embrace "learning by doing," and not just reading about it, there are moments when some lessons come with a bite. I "liked" a post on Sunday. The "like" prompted a rather public argument in which another friend sent me a private message afterward asking me if I was OK.
I like posts and links to articles that spark my curiosity about subjects I find interesting. That's why I "like" them on Facebook. Nothing more. I encourage debate, as long as it's considerate and on topic. If you think that anything you post or "like" may cause a reaction from a person in your friends list, circle, or whatever connections you have in whatever social media platform you are using, be prepared to suffer the consequences of your actions.
I hope readers of this post may consider the same. I will continue to explore and practice the same restraint on my own page. I feel that social media is a two-edged sword. I enjoy sharing material I find interesting among friends. Some like what I like, some don't. I'd like to remain open to the possibilities of what social media can offer for civil dialog.
I'm not so sure that my transparency is courageous. I think it's simply how I'm wired. I accept that others are wired differently. Some folks have a more argumentative style, others more private in nature. Funny how at 47, even though I've figured out a few things, I still don't know a whole bunch of stuff.