Once upon a time people wrote in diaries. If you wanted to learn what your grandmother was thinking, you could read her diary and learn how she met your grandfather. If the diary was kept, if it was legible, if it made it from point A into your hands! Now, fast forward to today – a time when many of us are keeping our “diaries” up to date on a daily if not hourly basis on Facebook and other internet sites. If we want to – the keys to our accounts could be passed along to our offspring or friends and our online identities (diaries) could be kept up for a long time, possibly forever! Anyone who wants to can pretty easily turn their online musings into a website that should last a long long time.
I was pondering this concept on a trip to the Oregon coast this past weekend. What might it be like for future generations to be able to go back in time and review what their parents and grandparents were doing – that intimate look could be so useful to a biographer, sibling, or anyone, really.
That led me to rethink a little what we post on-line. I keep finding value in sharing what I’m doing on Facebook and beyond. I think I’m now conceiving it as a way to inform people of my various projects – to get assistance, but also for a reason I had never thought of before. Have you ever been somewhere and someone approached you – a Facebook only friend? And, it turns out that they know something about you though you might not know much about them. Or, vice versa. I have this experience frequently. This weekend at the beach, I stumbled on a group of women who were sitting around a lovely campfire on the beach. It turned out that I knew 3 of the women, and was FB friends with a few more. That instant recognition and also their general knowledge of what I’m up to in the world led to a level of welcome and appreciation that = reputation. My reputation in that moment was not “stranger” it was – “someone we know who does good things in the world”. That, in turn, led to a level of welcome/hospitality that was very helpful in that moment and pleasant.
So, the reasons to share with the world what you’re thinking seem to continue to grow. People often ask me what/why to post on social networks – here are a couple answers to that question. Somewhat we’re all flying on blind faith that this is useful, and if I come up with more reasons why this is good practice (besides some other obvious ones – connecting you with people you want to know – finding resources that you seek – finding help with projects, etc) I will share them here. Can you think of any reasons that are interesting why a person might want to post on social networks?