The Dangers of Getting Too Personal Online

Posted on August 20, 2013

We love to hate them. They’re all over Huffington Post and in the Lifestyle section of your favorite news aggregator.

I’m talking about the overly personal narrative post detailing the sordid details of a love affair gone wrong, the tribulations of mountainous debt or the consequences of a string of terrible choices.

They start with headlines like “What I learned from X” or “What X taught me about Y” or even the more irresistible “Why you should never do X”.

While I’m all for free expression (and must admit that I entertain a few juicy clicks here and there) I personally like to operate on the premise that more is less online.

Don’t get me wrong, building an extensive online portfolio is incredibly important in an age where a prospective employer is likely to stalk you on Facebook before even getting to your CV.

I just think it’s essential to be aware of the kind of content we’re leaving out there for all to see.

Sordid headlines are certainly one way to get a flurry of click-throughs, but what do they say about you and your reputation? Is a tell-all story containing intimate details about certain life experiences worth the exposure in the long run?

This is one of the toughest things about blogging. The ability to share yourself in a way that resonates with your readers and yet ultimately remains professional. You don’t want to be sterile and robotic, but you don’t want to leave little to the imagination either.

There’s more than one way to create a more personable profile online that is not hinged on the amount of intimate information you’re prepared to reveal.

Look for ways to let your personality shine through, it may be in how you select or cover your topics. Strike a tone in your posts that’s open and casual. Pepper your blogs with short personal anecdotes so readers catch a glimpse inside your everyday life.

So before you click Publish on that kinky bedroom guide, have a think about what you’re sending out into the webosphere.

If you’re looking to raise awareness on a sensitive topic through your own experiences – fantastic. If you’re hoping a sexy headline will jettison you to international fame – you may just want to take a moment to reconsider.

photo credit: bookgrl via photopin cc

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