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On social media sincerity

2012 March 20

As I presented twitter mood maps (source NewScientist) during recent presentations, questions about the sincerity and truthfulness of social media messages were triggered by several in the audience. Just by the sheer number of tweets analysed in these twitter mood maps, I believe there must be some truth in the rumour. But are we who we say we are, on social media?

Broadcasting where you are and what you are doing now may not be smart. Checking in at the local Hooters might not be a  big deal in Holland (I don’t, it would damage my personal brand), it is a big deal elsewhere. Even worse, pronouncing what you read can get you in trouble in some parts of the world. Apart from that, I suspect there are cultural and generation dependencies at work here.

It is easy to lie with social media, but hard to keep that up (this couch potato just checked at a local health club, but doing that every day would be beyond suspicion). Painting too perfect a picture of oneself is not too smart either. I do believe that in time, hiding the truth will be very, very difficult. You might as well bring the real you out, to preempt that to-be-expected social media blooper, or worse: disaster. I don’t think that means being fully open and transparent, but if you add up your, it should paint a honest picture.

One day, we will have become who we really are, also in social media land. Come to think of it, aren’t most firms really presenting a perfect picture of themselves? Interesting topic for research!

Actually, I had a rather nice day today :).

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