In UOSM2008, we spent most of our time looking at the dangers of social media and how it can be used to our advantage for example through social recruiting and open access. However, in our generation, there are other ways that living and working on the Web have become intertwined.
Most recently, the transparency of relationships on YouTube have become a popular topic of discussion, particularly with cases where famed YouTube stars have participated in an online war-of-words for the entertainment of their social media following.
Many online personalities have gained followers and in turn earn a living by using their social stardom to promote brands, plug merchandise and promote themselves in order to get the attention of possible power players in the industries they want to go into. But mixing business opportunities with sharing so much of their personal lives can be both beneficial and negative.
Being able to show your followers what you’re wearing, what you’re eating or your latest trip with your other half allows people to feel like they are a part of your life, even if it’s not in a big way. They can be educated in positive ways such as new fitness regimens and skin routines that have helped you and may also be helpful to them.
On the negative side, this involvement can make viewers feel as though they’re owed an explanation or answers in return for their investment in your life, especially when savvy internet users notice that you’ve stopped posting with your best friend, family member or significant other. This is where the line between how to live and work on the Web becomes blurred. Often times the rationale for sharing so much about their personal life struggles, specifically relationship problems, is “I owe you guys an explanation because you’re like my family” or “you have helped me get to where I am today”.
The question is, if you’ve made a career through social media, i.e. people taking the time to invest in your life, do you owe them an explanation for every thing that happens in your life? Arguably, if these viewers are helping you to make a living the answer is yes, because without them you wouldn’t be able to work as just being yourself. However, there is a level of privacy that can be compromised. Can you maintain your privacy when you’re living and working on the Web?
Self-produced (and captured from Youtube)