marakame musings.


You, and your social identity: muliple personalities and easy friendships

September 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Blog | No comment


Let’s admit it. We are different people on different social sites. Your Facebook “personality” is likely to be a bit more colorful than the one you share on LinkedIn. Your Twitter self is probably more concise and efficient than your blogging self, or than what you share on Facebook.  We are different personalities to different communities and to different subsets within those communities. Is this bad?

When it comes to social sharing, do you suffer from Mutiple Personality Dis-order?

I do, and I think this is not bad — in fact, that is life. In life, you interact differently with your boss or client than you do with your kids. Or your BFF. In life you adjust your personality to fit the situation and the other person, and that’s simply known as good manners.

Your business self can mirror your real you, but generally it does not, at least not 100% of the time. Come to think of it, except in rare occasions, it is probably a much healthier thing that they should not coexist all of the time.

And what about the number of friendships? I am often unnerved by the fact that I have over 400 “friends” on Facebook, hard as I try to keep that number down to 50. I feel too “easy” having so many social friends. Especially when I know myself to be the type of person who prefers very few, but very close real-life friendships. Again, here is a social “personality” that is not an accurate reflection of the real me. But with social media being a growing activity of marakame marketing, frankly, being social is my business.

Facebook has just made some changes to their site, which allow you to “subscribe” to be able to read a person’s posts without becoming their “friend”. I applaud this change.  Facebook is recognizing that these emerging and evolving social relationships need further refining. Although “lists” have long been possible on Facebook to make separations in your audience, I frankly found it to be too much trouble.

The postings of certain individuals are especially illuminating, interesting or entertaining, and I want to read them. Previously, the only way was to be their friend. But did they, in exchange, really want to read about me? The new subscription option helps filter the feed — if you can shift some “friends” into “subscribers” imagine how much more pertinent your own news feed could be? As well, you can select if you want to be informed of only major life events, or the day-to-day detail.

As social networks blossom and grow in their day-to-day use, expect further refinements. These will no doubt make it easier to manage your multiple personalities. And that, also, is a good thing.

Additional reading:

In support of multiple “social” personalities, from the New York Times.

Facebook blog post, explaining the new Subscribe feature.

TechCrunch explains Facebook Subscribe.

How to add the Subscribe feature to your Facebook page.





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