Boundaries. We live with them, accommodate them, and move them around sometimes. I had an interesting discussion about boundaries with a friend at lunch the other day. Specifically, the boundaries on social media. Where do you draw the line?
My friend and I have a mutual acquaintance who is very active on Facebook. Part of this Facebook activity is to promote her business. Much of it is to share her life. In minute detail. In long, rambling sentences. Several times a day. And then commenting on every single comment made on the post.
Our discussion was how all that personal information has influenced our perception of her business. All that detail and commentary has shaped how we see her, and that extends to her business. We don’t intend to be judgemental, but that is just the nature of things. In the same way that repetitive marketing of pizza on nighttime TV will move people to feel hunger, the repetitive stories she tells on social media moves us to react to her. And it isn’t always positive.
In my life and in my business I believe in authenticity, and ethics are important to me. I respect people who are genuine and consistent in their personal and business profiles. I distance myself from people who present one thing and are something else entirely. To make a ridiculous example, like someone who is an environmental activist professionally, but her personal social media shows her eating at McDonalds and driving a Hummer.
Back to our mutual acquaintance. I appreciate that she is consistent, but question whether so much personal detail is helpful to her business, or hinders it. Boundaries can be limiting, and sometimes they serve to protect.