Social Media TMI: How Far is Too Far?

We've all got those friends. They practically share their blood type on Facebook and post their bathroom visits on Twitter. But in real life, they aren't so "personal" all the time. In fact, they act like normal people. And so I've been wondering: how far is too far when it comes to being honest online?

I recently changed my banner image on Facebook to say something that is universally true of almost everyone I know: I need a vacation. At the time, I thought it was funny, but honest. But before I knew it, the concerned emails and messages started to pour in.

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Is sharing the most random details of our lives really ever that honest anyway? The lack of subtlety online means people are deriving meaning without context or humor or tone. So what can we do to make sure we're understood, but not obnoxious or disingenuous?

These two tips from some very successful bloggers are a good start:

"Comments follow you. Because social media feels like a place where people can just be themselves and say things off the cuff, people often say things they wouldn't typically say in public." "Consider the tone. Humble-bragging, outright bragging, constant complaining and endless rhetorical questions never go over well with readers."

How far is too far to you? Have you ever had an instance where something was horribly misunderstood when intentions were innocent?

(Photo Credit: Sean Rioux and Elizabeth Giorgi)

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Liz is a writer and filmmaker from Minneapolis. She was nominated for a Webby and won an Emmy for Science of Watchmen, a documentary short about the physics in the comic book movie. She’s a tech obsessive, verified nerd and total Anglophile.