It's Not About How Private You Are; It's About What Privacy Means to You

I’ve heard people say that if you’re very private, then you would prefer not to post all sorts of stuff about yourself on social media sites. And of course I’ve heard people say that people who are really open are happy to post anything. 

Now, I’m thinking that it’s not so clear cut.

The dividing line, I believe, is not about whether you’re a private person or an open book, but rather it’s about what topics you like to keep to yourself.

I don’t consider myself private. I’d happily share my views on most anything, most any time. On the other hand, I’ve noticed a significant number of people post about their dating lives, not just on the more personal Facebook but on the more work-oriented Twitter. This is something that, if I were dating, I probably would not.

Sometimes people post about their illnesses and their diseases. Thank goodness I do not have either; if I did, I suppose I’d feel comfortable talking about them. For some reason, I’m OK with that. 

I’ve noticed that another person, who I used to work with and who generally considers her views on politics and religion and other issues to be fairly private, has posted on Facebook about her fertility challenges in more detail than, well — let’s just say, she used specifics.

Another person I know is otherwise very private, but speaks about his and other people’s salaries pretty openly, a topic I and many other people don’t normally broach.

I usually like when people post personal thoughts about their families; for example, on the anniversaries of the deaths of one of their parents or grandparents. It makes them feel more human to me. Sometimes, however, when people post all sorts of really schmoopy things about their spouses or significant others, it feels a little too personal for my taste.

After and during the president’s speech two nights ago, a lot of people in the recruiting field weighed in, pro or con. For them, politics should be shared. For others, they’re more comfortable sharing about the challenges they’re having with their reproductive organs.

Have you ever cringed when you read something an employee of your company, or a candidate for a job at your company, posted online? If so, I wonder if it’s one of those things they felt that to them just wasn’t that private.


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