A couple months ago, just after I started my new position at BoxTone, I was very excited and shared much of that excitement on the web, particularly on Twitter. I had mechanisms set up to cross-post my tweets to LinkedIn and Facebook. I also have this WordPress site set to cross-post notices of new posts to Twitter (and therefore LinkedIn and Facebook).
I was probably posting 10-20 times more tweets than I generally do, and these were then streaming to multiple audiences: my professional acquaintances and friends on LinkedIn and family and high-school friends on Facebook. Those of you who know me realize that the more excited I am, the more vocal I am. I want everyone I know to share my excitement and enthusiasm.
After about a week of this, I received an email via LinkedIn from a former colleague (who I barely knew, but had met once and managed a team I worked with extensively). He requested that I “unlink” from him on LinkedIn because he was “tired of my dribble [sic].” I immediately removed my link to him, and also responded that he was free to unlink himself at any time, adding a mild poke at him about being such a happy person. He seemed to misunderstand the mechanism because he replied that both of us needed to unlink in order to free him from my ‘dribble.’
At the time, I tried to laugh it off and told a number of friends the story as an example of the absurdity of online life. However, the criticism cut me much deeper than I let on. As I thought about it over the next 24 hours, I was hurt and a bit frightened that there were others out there who found me to be frivolous and childish, but not quite annoyed enough to actually confront me about it.
I removed my cross-linking to LinkedIn and Facebook from Twitter. And I stopped tweeting as often. I’ve posted less often on this site as well. I pulled my head and limbs inside my shell like a harassed turtle while outwardly pretending that it hadn’t affected me. I became a bit skittish about revealing myself on the web.
A large side effect of this is becoming more disconnected from some friends and colleagues I only keep in touch through the web. And I miss you guys! So I’m coming out of my shell again. I’ve added back the Twitter apps to LinkedIn and Facebook. And I’m going to try and post more here and on Twitter. No promises – work is wonderfully busy, ya know. <grin>
If you want to get in touch with me through my web presence, I check on this site daily, look at LinkedIn at least once a day, lurk on Facebook a couple times a week, and tweet a number of times per week, occasionally scanning the tweets of those I’m following. I’d love to hear from you – unless you just want to tell me I’m a jerk (I’d rather you just stop listening).