Beware the Things You Share in the World of Social Media

Facebook isn’t the only online aggregator that contributes, defines, and showcases your online brand. Everything we produce and share is online and readily discoverable, not just by friends and family, but business associates, customers, prospects, clients, etc.

You’d be surprised what people see, remember and in turn, share with others.

Stowe Boyd recently captured a unique observation in his short post, “With Apologies to Henry Davied Thoreau,” where he warned, “Beware of any undertaking that requires editing your Twitter stream.”

The very tools you use to communicate with friends are the very channels that can remind us that the world isn’t always a nice place.

Update: See Dan Wei’s post about a recent job interview and how legacy content that appeared in Google search sparked a very interesting conversation.

Update 2: Does What Happens in the Facebook Stay in the Facebook?

A very interesting video that should remind us that what we share on the Web and in social networks (in this case Facebook) is discoverable and usable by people you don’t know and could come back in ways you would never expect.

Connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce or Facebook.

  • Xavier Vespa

    I love how those words of wisdom about online discretion end with the:
    So connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce or Facebook.

  • Shakira Brown

    Recently, I wanted to rant on my blog about my bank and something they did really unethically. I began to write my blog posting and realized I was giving away too much information. Such as my bank name and location – it was crazy. I deleted the blog entry in fear that I was making it too easy for identity theives. In efforts to engage – it easy too over engage!


    This is SO timely actually; just yesterday when a colleague left an update on a social network that was clearly born from frustration with people at work…you have to be careful now more than ever. What makes social media great is what also makes it dangerous.

  • Hansdek12

    What gets published about you is like a tattoo – with the difference that there is no surgeon with a laser that can take it away. It stays there forever.
    This is not something that is just related to social networks really – just that they make it easier for large groups of people to publish and hence record. Whatever gets published and recorded is like a tattoo.
    I experienced this first hand when material about me was published on a large global scale between 1999 – 2000. There was no Google for the massess then – but what occurred online and offline was recorded by large amounts of people. Since Google has become mainstream, I get Googled by business contacts and when I meet them for the first time – they often refer to that case in 1999(if they have the courage) and ask me to explain what happened.

    Whatever you put out there about yourself or others about you – is permanent.


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.

Brian has authored several best-selling books including What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business as Usual. His blog,, is ranked as a leading resource for insights into the future of business, new technology and marketing.

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