Sharing is Great, Mostly

17.June 2013

Our Journey

So you are going on vacation and you’ll be blowing off some steam. You are connected through a blog, Facebook, Twitter and email to family, friends, co-workers and maybe the boss.

Taking a second to think about what you will be share with the folks back home is a really good idea. Snapping and posting photos of yourself in beach attire or less with some new friends dancing up a storm may not be best for your mom to see or potentially career ending in some cases.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

By now we should all be following safe online practises. You have a virus scanner running on your home computer. You have changed all your passwords to something more secure than “password”. You don’t click on questionable links at work because no one wants a visit from the IT security department.

Being away on vacation is about relaxing and perhaps letting loose. It is not an excuse open your online life to everyone and the stray dog that joins you for dinner at the beach. The rest of the world has access to the internet and smartphones too and it is likely that some of the people that you meet are experts as well.

Photo Credit: Stephan Geyer

Think about what’s appropriate

To suggest protecting yourself and being appropriate with you sharing is common sense is missing the point of vacation for a large number of people, giving up common sense is the point of a vacation for some people. The best thing to do is to set out some rules for yourself before you get on the plane or even before that last day of work. I know my vacation mentally starts somewhat before I walk out the door on the last day. It really is small things, go ahead and bring your camera along for the evening but maybe keep the mobile phone in the safe back at your hotel room.

This way you will be perhaps more capable of saying no to posting up those less than flattering pictures, or even better, stops your “new” friends from using your phone to post pictures of you for your mother to see. Don’t be this girl or guy.

Photo Credit: befuddle

Sharing all of the details and drama of your vacation is best to avoid for two very good reasons. You will have people in your online community that really do not need to know and it means that you won’t have any good stories to tell when you get back. It is best to leave some mystery in your life. If it is all out there then no one will be asking you about your trip when you get back.

Share with the right people

Think about telling a story of your vacation adventure of the nightclub to a room that contains everyone you know and everyone you will know in your life. Sure your current boss will find it funny but will a future mother-in-law? Another way to think about it is to remember that embarrassing story that your mother loves to tell your friend from when you were 4 years old?

Time has a way of taking something that was fun when you did it and turning it into something truly cringe worthy when you are older. Vacation antics can be like that too. Having everyone at work mentioning that embarrassing picture you posted especially during a promotion interview could make you feel less than comfortable in the future.

Photo Credit: Josh Bancroft

The etiquette of new contacts

Making new friends while on holidays is always good. Having them break your online rules is always bad. Like the pictures, it may be best to leave that friend request and your online personality sharing until after you get back home or at least have the clear light of morning to figure out if this is really a person you want to include in your online world. You probably don’t connect with everyone on the bus ride to and from work or school, it doesn’t hurt to exercise a little caution while you are away and enjoying yourself. You don’t have to be paranoid but taking a few days to answer a friend request won’t be a major social disgrace.

If they are going to be an awesome new friend, they will let that sort of thing slide and that great sunset picture of you will still be there next week.

Photo Credit: Miss Kels

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