18 April 2019 | 12 Comments
I read every comment on this blog and my personal blog, including comments on really old posts. Recently someone commented on a post from 2011 about how they’ve begun to integrate photos and anecdotes from their personal life into their professional social media presence, and it was causing them some anxiety.
Specifically, they were worried about their “sphere of sharing.” Like, if you post a selfie, no problem–that’s your choice. But if you post a photo of you and your spouse or a story about the two of you, how does that impact your spouse? Are they okay with you sharing that information?
I don’t have a significant other, but I can relate to what the person was saying, as I still have lots of different relationships with people around the world. Some are professional and others are personal, and the level of privacy depends on various interactions.
This is where I refer to the sage advice of Neil Patrick Harris, who I quoted in the 2011 blog post:
I feel like it’s important to have three lives. Your professional life, your personal life, and your private life.
As someone in the entertainment industry, you need to be as forthcoming about your personal life as you can be, because if people are intrigued by you, then they’ll want to know more about you. If you suddenly clam up and say “No comment” on who you’re dating, you’re just a bad guest on Letterman.
I’m in the Howard Stern camp of full disclosure. He doesn’t talk about how he had sex with his wife that night, but he talks about having sex with his wife. I think that’s where the distinction lies. You want to be able to have some transparency with people who are watching you tell stories.
I hadn’t ever thought about it quite that way. There’s a distinction between the specific details of our private interactions (both professionally and personally) and our public interactions.
Granted, NPH has a much elevated celebrity status compared to you and me. But as creators, we are visible in the public eye through social media, the content we create and participate in, and the platforms on which we sell (e.g., Kickstarter). Many people connect with you better if you’re willing to talk to them as a person, not as a cold, distant corporation.
I think about this every week before my Wednesday morning Facebook Live chat. What topics can I share and which cross the line? Yesterday, for example, among the topics I discussed were games I want to play at Geekway, route-building games, a meeting with my manufacturer, Game of Thrones, a soccer game I attended, the books I just finished reading (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom), what Biddy was like as a kitten, and a question about Chinese food. I shared my experiences and perspectives without delving into the intimate details involving other people.
How have you learned to navigate the differences between public sharing of your professional, personal, and private lives?
- Write a Blog
- Top 10 Ways to Be a Likable Content Creator
- The Psychological Benefits of Showing Your Face
- Cult of the You
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