How to Balance Your Internet Life with Your Real Life


Hi, I’m Carl, and I’m a blogger.

I really started blogging back in 1997 when I created an e-mail newsletter for the newspaper. I would start each daily e-mail with some personal insights then list the day’s headlines. I didn’t know it but it was blogging.

I thought I could quit whenever I wanted. But I kept posting updates. And that led to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So now I’m very comfortable sharing personal aspects of my life with complete strangers. But some people I share my life with aren’t social media exhibitionists. They don’t blog, tweet, friend or check in. And they’re not thrilled to be part of my social networks by associations.

We talk a lot about balancing work and life. But how well do we balance internet life with real life? Do you need to keep your personal relationships quarantined? Here are some tips for achieving harmony:

Disclose

On your first date, confess your blogging and social media habits. Your date needs to know that this may be the subject of a blog or Facebook update. Better yet, give them veto power. They need to be able to express discomfort and keep their private life private.

Discuss

Set up ground rules with the people in your life. Understand what they don’t want revealed to the world.

Ask permission

No matter what the rules are, your friends and family will appreciate if you ask before you blog.

Create pseudonyms

Your personal life can have a lot impact on what you write. You can use personal anecdotes to add punch and protect the shy members of your life. Instead of using their names, identify them as “My Better Half” or “No. 1 Son.” Give them a little bit of cover.

Don’t ambush

We’ve all thought of the perfect comeback after losing an argument or point in a debate. Social media offers a chance to make that point after the fact. Which really isn’t fair. And don’t write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

Extend these courtesies to coworkers

Even if it’s totally professional, you want to consider the people at work and clients part of your private life. They may not appreciate reading about themselves in your blog or Facebook timeline. Ask.

Do you have rules to separate your real and social media lives?


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Carl Natale is a freelance blogger who writes about tips and advice for small businesses. He runs the site Expensiccino.com - a site about how top brands set their prices.

Discussion

  1. Chris Risse on the 29th July

    Great rules, Carl. It all comes down to civility. Something a lot of us have forgotten and some never learned. I’d like to see civility make a comeback.

  2. Hi,

    Great points. I think it is important to follow these 6 points. I think it is very important to balance internet life with real life.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

  3. High Speed Internet on the 8th May

    I got a good read here. Great points, by the way. Most of them I’ve learned from my experience. It is good to have rules to separate your real life and social media life.

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