A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media

Is it shocking that I would use such an obvious click-bait blog post title? Shameless! But this post is all about the difference between sharing what is personal versus private on social media.
Why do people TMI share on Social Media?  Maybe because it's titillating! It's shocking! It's attention-seeking and it's usually a bad idea!  Don't get me wrong, I love gossip, tea, shade, and scandal as much as the next squirrelfriend! Heck, I watch most every Bravo show out there, and all but 2 of the Real Housewives franchise.  Even so, I think it's important to keep your interactions on Social Media authentic, real, but always professional. Being positive, passionate, & upbeat is a good thing, too!

I try my best at this. I made the above graphic mostly as a reminder for myself.  I admit I delete a few snarky Tweets now and then after posting [hangs head in shame], usually about the Kardashians, Bieber, Grande, you know, annoying TV people, that Trivago guy, people who don't Google first, and commercials that irritate. So this is probably my worst failing, something I'm aware of and constantly working on. In my head it sounded funny, in actuality it comes out snarky or salty. I can't delete what I say IRL but I can online. But...like both, sometimes the damage is already done.

Here are a few examples of what NOT to share.

Ewww! See? That's a WHOLE lotta TMI!   
Here's something else NOT to do on Social Media.
It may not seem fair, but you are what you RT and Like. 
Whether you know it or not, a re-tweet or a like, is an endorsement. Ask any politician or public figure who has felt the heat for it.
So, it's best not to re-tweet bad language or something controversial

Personal versus Private
Sharing personal info shows you're human and authentic.
Sharing too much private info is just creepy! 

Being an educator actively involved with social media professionally, is an optional and a daring choice. 

There are SO many social media outlets out there to choose from - it could either be a mine-field or a diamond mine in terms of connecting, sharing, and creating your own Personal Learning Network or PLN. 
I use social media only in a professional sense - to share the cool things going on every day in my school and library, to celebrate my amazing students, and to connect with my parents, our local and our global community.  In other words, I have purposefully and intentionally NOT used Social Media in any kind of personal way. For some, that might seem like a sacrifice - for me, it's been pretty great and sort of a relief.  That's not to say, as you saw above, that I don't occasionally share some personal stuff. Just not ALL the time.  Twitter and Scoopit are my preferred social media tools and I recently added Instagram - because that’s where my kiddos are! 
Years ago I broke up with Tom of MySpace, then Facebook (stop poking me!), but pick what you want, what feels familiar to you and is the best tool for you to be a positive force.  Never vent about school, administrators, or student frustrations via social media!  

Don't Tweet yourself out of a job. If you're at a party (with other teachers or muggles) don't let someone take a picture of you with any kind of alcoholic beverage in your hand. That can be posted. If someone wants to take a selfie, or your picture with friends at a bar or a restaurant, move the pint of beer (or whatever) out of the shot.   
It's just not worth it. Caesar's wife and all that.
On social media you can push the positive and change the world, you can grow professionally by leaps and bounds… or you could get in really big trouble.  
Share thoughtfully, wisely, and well.  

Now, it's YOUR turn!   
Please chime in on the comments, I'd love to hear from you!  What do you think is the difference between personal and private?

by Doug Johnson
Read more about: 

The SMALL Print
Hey, Dear Email Subscribers!  

Thanks to a reader comment, I found out something I didn't know about the email subscription to this blog, that when my post comes to your email inbox - the yellow font doesn't show up on the white background! (Thanks Anon!)  I didn't know that! So, I switched it back and I hope it shows up better or emails and for mobile viewers. I wonder, when I edit a blog post and update it, do you get another email? If so, that would be annoying! Since it seems like I edit my blogs constantly after publishing - always fixing this or that and adding in another thought.  Of course subscribers, you can always click to view the post on my actual blog, but I get how that might be a pain! 

So, even though I Loooove using that colour font, I will try not to use it on the whole post, or only for paragraph headers. How does the colour blue look? I guess I never thought to subscribe to my own blog to see what that's like. (Duh! I should have!) 

Please feel free to comment constructively on this blog, you can even ask that I don't publish the comment, just read it (I would always honor that)  You can also send me an email at gwynethanne (@) gmail.com - call me out if I'm being too snarky (I was once, and I fixed it! Lesson Learned:  never blog when you have a cold & are already cranky!) Tell me what you think or even disagree with me - I actually LOVE a good debate and I respect everyone's right to a different opinion. That's very cool. Anyway, well, this was supposed to just be a quick aside - sorry - bottom line, I care what you think. It matters. You matter. Thank you for visiting & taking your time to read this. You rock!


  1. Thanks, Gwyneth - inspirational as usual. Doing a workshop in a couple of months on using social media in the school & library. Will definitely show them this post!

  2. Thanks for your blog! I really enjoy it! One problem though, when it comes through my email in yellow font I can't read it. :( The color is just not clear on a white background. Thankfully I can click over to your page!

  3. Couldn't agree more, especially with not using foul language. I am not a user of foul language and it's so offensive to be exposed to it! Keep it positive, professional and pertinent!

  4. The best thing about social media is you don't have to be a huge company to use its potential. If you are social media apps starting a business online, even if your only employee is yourself, social media can help you and your business grow really fast.

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