Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Privacy, the Internet & Social Media

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  The holiday season feels like it's whipping past me this year...Christmas is only 15 days away?!  Is it going by quickly for you all too?  I don't have nearly enough people crossed off my shopping list!

Social media, the internet and privacy have been weighing heavily on my mind lately.  I manage social media for my work (@VisitCape), and doing so has led me to be a more public persona than I had ever imagined. Within a few weeks of starting my job in tourism 2.5 years ago, I had local reporters and business professionals following my Twitter handle just by warrant of where I worked.  It was odd, but part of the job I had been told to expect.

Recently I added on @VisitCape's Twitter bio that @stacydlane (me!) was the voice of the account and let my Twitter go entirely professional.  Now at professional conferences its easy to go by my Twitter handle.

For a while I kept my Facebook private, completely personal and on lock down (or as much as Facebook lets that happen), but I finally gave in to having it be a more professionally oriented social media platform; I did some serious photo scrubbing I probably should have done years ago and started friending Chamber of Commerce members, travel bloggers I'd like to work with eventually and tourism friends.

Thanks to the circles employed by Google+, that platform is easy to keep a good grasp on privacy...I just wish more people were on there, haha!

A month ago or so, I made my Instagram (my personal favorite social media platform and the one I use most heavily) private; last week I went through and blocked every follower I don't know.  Now I know every single person who follows me and I feel very secure about the pictures I choose to post here.

This blog is public, but it isn't something I share on anything but personal platforms.

Gut checks help me with all of this; it feels good and right to let VisitCape followers know who the voice behind the brand is, but I also need a few spaces left private where I can post indiscriminately without worrying about the professional image that provides, privacy concerns, or anything else.  By indiscriminately I mostly mean outfit pictures without taunting, hahaha!

Raising a child in the age of all of this photo and information sharing is intimidating to me.  Ryan and I have talked extensively about how we'll tackle social media with our non-existent, entirely hypothetical children, and we reached an easy agreement that pictures of our child will not make their way onto any public platform; we'll most likely share pictures to Family and Friends circles on Google+ and on my private Instagram account, or via text.  I anticipate our families being supportive of this decision too.  This is what feels right to us (at this child-free point in our lives) and is by no means a sweeping judgement; I think that it's just important to be thoughtful about the pictures you post online.

Gut checks and soul searching all over social media and privacy....I think I see these things in a different light as social media comprises so much of my job, so I'd love to hear your views on this; what do you choose to share, to keep private, and why?

It snowed here last week!  Snow doesn't typically stick around very long:


  1. I struggle with this constantly! It is so hard. I think I would love to keep it all private but social media has made it so EASY (obviously that's their goal). For our far-flung extended family, Facebook is the best way to share a picture of Zach, even though I have backed away from using it for updates and such. I have been debating making my IG private and I think I'm going to break down and do it soon. It's tough because I don't mind if pictures of myself or whatever else are public but when I frame it with Zach in mind, it's a different story - one that I should probably put more energy into thinking about. As for the blog, ugh - it's a can of worms for me. I hate the public aspect of it, but I love that it prompted me to chronicle my pregnancy and Zach's first year of life. I would want that to continue for future children, but maybe I can find a more private way to do it. Lots to think about...
    Thanks for sharing your perspective though! I enjoy seeing where other people stand in regards to it.

  2. Ughhhh I totally know how you feel. It is funny because I have always been super private - I had a facebook in college but I didn't like people seeing so much, so I deleted it. I just created one in the last year for my blog and for work (It is on double secret private and I don't post anything on the personal part of it). I recently discovered all of the people I work with know about my blog, which was really weird for me (since I don't talk about it at work and they don't follow me on twitter or instagram or like the FB page), but I had to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted it to grow, I have to not be afraid to let anyone and everyone know about it. (the weirdest was the day my boss asked me to send her the link to it).
    As for the kiddos, I haven't gotten there yet. Charlie hates all social media so I know he won't want our kids on there, but he is also really proud of how hard I work on my blog so he wants me to continue. Social media is a weird thing. Maybe by the time we have kids, I will create a separate instagram for personal use. I don't know.


Hearing from you all makes my day!