On April 3, 2011, I spoke on a panel at the American University Social Learning Summit. The title of the panel was:
Where Do You Draw Your Line? Defining TMI on Social Networks.
My readers and friends know where I draw my line. I'm a sex blogger. There's very little about my dating life and relationship history that's off limits. I might use nicknames or change details that are irrelevant to the overall narrative, but for the purposes of my blog, including too much information is par for the course.
With that said, I still utilize a limited profile view for some friends on Facebook, and I blogged anonymously for two years to protect my legal career. I also continue to set boundaries as to how much personal information I share with others, depending on my goals and my audience.
I'm a big believer in listing the pros and cons of a situation, and I think that what information you put out on social networks warrants a list of its own. What are your goals for using Facebook, Twitter, a blog, LinkedIn or Foursquare? How much personal information do you share online, and who has access to it? Do your friends, family members, significant others, co-workers and clients share the same views as to what is TMI?
At the panel, I passed out a handout with these two slides on it:
How do you use social networks? What factors are important to you in deciding where to draw your line? What constitutes TMI to you?