As most of you probably know I am active on Twitter and Seesmic and Facebook and other web 2.0y sites. One of the themes that have been coming up a lot is about how we build relationships over these mediums. Loic Le Meur compares Seesmic to us all living together or being in the same room. Jeff Pulver calls it his social media living room.
I will admit I have some of those feelings. With these instant communication mediums we see into people's lives: Moments with their children, questions they have in life, ceremonies and celebrations, issues they think are important, what they are having for dinner or when they are drinking coffee. We develop a certain intimacy while never really being there physically. I mean, the ideal is that I will meet my Seesmic and Twitter friends but so far I have not.
That said, these living rooms, and bedrooms and kitchens we see are being shared on the public internet. Each tweet gets indexed by Google and our visages and words are easily brought up in a search. So that begs the question, how much do we share in public, even as we have the feel of a private space?
Last night, while my internet was down, I wrote up a post explaining why I haven't been posting which included the personal story of my past year, and ending with basically "I've been thinking lots, still have questions, am not satisfied, but time to get posting again." As you might note that post is not here. That might change, but putting those details down in my blog seemed to be too much of an exposure.
Now there are a a few points that make a blog differ from a Seesmic post or a tweet. My blog is, in a sense, where a person would go to find out more about me. Sure they might check my tweets or videos, but those sort of stream by. It is a public statement, but with so much volume as to make the information a bit of blur - at least for a human reviewing the data. So a statement here is a bit more permanent and likely read. Also, other than bits of data that slip I rarely share my questions and doubts and challenges with others, so perhaps I am just a bit less likely than most to share.
But I wonder how much people chose to show of their inner side. What makes someone comfortable to share the information? When is it appropriate? Is this sense of "private" and "public" a generational thing? a cultural thing? Do we become less sensitive to that boundary as we share more often, more consistently and more in private public areas? Or do we, in our minds, come up with our personal boundary - that we many not be aware of - and share freely on one side, and keep private what is on the other? And how do these boundaries, and the ubiquitousness of the social milieu affect how we interact in our actual private lives and relationships?
Right now all I have are questions, but I thought I would share them with you. Let me know your thoughts.