Tweeting those personal moments

I have just returned from a long weekend in Iceland with my wife Fiona.  It was a great trip, and we saw some awe inspiring sights, most notably ice breaking off from a glacier and floating down the river (picture below) and the Strokkur geyser, but at no time did I feel like broadcasting my experiences on Twitter (or any other socnet for that matter).  In fact it didn’t even cross my mind until the evenings, typically when we were sharing a glass of wine and reflecting on the day, and by then the moment had passed and it was too late.  You can’t Tweet the echo of an emotion.

I was quite surprised by all of the above, and have been wondering what it means.  Two inter-related thoughts emerge:

  • My use of Twitter is mostly professional and primarily as a content network, both for broadcasting links to interesting articles and to see what is interesting all you smart folk out there – a different use case to sharing intimate moments
  • Thinking back on when I have shouted about  cool of fun stuff I’m doing it is usually when I’m alone.  In Iceland Fiona was always with me, and the fact that I didn’t think about Tweeting has me thinking that (for me at least) it is secondary outlet for sharing which I fall back on when there is nobody else around.

My Twitter and Facebook are currently totally integrated.  When I Tweet it automatically updates my FB status.  That has been a cause for complaint for some of my personal friends who find most of my web news related updates a little boring (to say the least) -if you check out my Facebook closely you will see the odd ironic comment popping up that makes this point.  On the other hand a number of you access my feed via Facebook and leave comments there rather than on the blog itself or in Twitter, which is why I made the integration in the first place.

In conclusion, I’m starting to think that I should at least partially separate my Facebook and Twitter, concentrating the former more on my personal life and the latter more on my work life.  That would make my Facebook more relevant for my non-techie pals and might also get me thinking more about sharing some of those personal moments as they happen, which is something I would like to do.  I might set it up so that my Tweets only go to Twitter and keep that focused on content sharing, and then when I’m updating Facebook have it automatically update Twitter as well.

Let me know if that would change the way you read this blog and access my Tweets, particularly if it would mean you read me less, or not at all.

And finally – if you get the chance – go to Iceland.  I highly recommend it – you will see things that you can’t find anywhere else on the planet, there aren’t too many tourists, and the people are very friendly.  And we didn’t get caught in any volcanoes 🙂 (that said, when it rains it leaves little black ash marks, which has me wondering about their flight safety thresholds…).


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • Hi Nic, Great pic & glad you had a good trip. For myself (not yet as “integrated” as you) I maintain two Facebook sites for exactly the reasons you suggest – to separate personal life from professional. I see Twitter and the business Facebook site as work forums…..sharing interesting articles, trends, information etc with colleagues and contacts. My personal Facebook site is just that – and managing the separation takes more time, but is essential for a proper work/life balance!

  • I'm all for life compartmentalization – keep the personal stuff personal and keep it away from the rest. I use Facebook for friends & family (with a few workmates that I'd happily have a beer with), LinkedIn for networking and Twitter & RSS feeds for news but there are so many people for whom those boundaries don't exist. I was guilty of that too until a couple of years ago and then I cleaned out my friend list and “unfriended” all the spurious professional contacts that I didn't want to have seeing pictures of my family or information about my holidays etc…

    I gloss over your FB stuff as I've generally already seen it on Twitter or here – maybe I miss some stuff that, as an old school chum, I would be interested in.

    Having said that I am definitely conservative on this topic given the over-sharing that society is trending towards – as a marketer I think Blippy is great, as a consumer I find it horrific but I know people who totally see the point in letting everyone know their every mundane action.

    For example, I just unchecked the “Share on Twitter” box 😉


  • I think you've got that right Nick. Whilst I'm not a Facebook fan because I don't trust them, I think most people do want the ability to have a more intimate relationship with friends. For me for there to be a level of privacy for that to happen.

  • Faced the same problem. I ended up de-coupling my Twitter and Facebook accounts as I wanted to separate my professional and personal circles. I now use Posterous much more as it's utterly brilliant at selective publishing (ie you control when to send to Twitter AND Facebook or FB only or everywhere etc).

  • Thanks Martin – maybe I should simply create a new Facebook ID for my personal life.

  • 🙂 thanks Andy

  • Facebook is working hard to spread its social tentacles across the web — the only way Twitter can counter that effort is by using the best weapons in its arsenal, namely a healthy and happy developer ecosystem…