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Friday, May 7, 2010

Kirk's rules for Social Media or the "Barf In Your Mouth Test"

As someone with a mild case of TMI Disorder (too much information) .I'm always surprised when somebody has it worse than I do. The way I judge that is when somebody I'm not close to tells me something and I taste a little bile in the back of my throat. I call it the "I threw up a little in my mouth test."

I try to apply this test to my social media experiences. Whether here on this blog, on Facebook or just relaying a personal message in an email, I ask myself....would this make the reader barf....even a little? Sadly, that cannot be said for the spoken word.

So I know the "I threw up a little in my mouth test" is generally one that allows a considerable amount of leeway in a lot of areas. I mean in politics, only Ann Coulter gets that kind of visceral reaction.(I just wrote her name.... yes....yes, I can taste a bit of lunch...perhaps a chunk). There are other topics I try to steer clear of...bowel movements, for example. I did a posting on a good one I had recently and the commentary was lively....albeit told in euphemisms....because how can you not get giggly about a BM?

Soooo, a few people have mentioned to me about the dangers of stream conscience postings on Facebook. I was told to keep it bland in case potential employers would check it. While I do keep what I would call an "above average" (120 is the average) number of friends(304 at last count), its not a ridiculous number....and I'm more than happy to let a few people go. It's not like I'm a friend "whore", I don't just friend people at random. I generally know them. I defriended someone once, and the next night I saw him at a party. It was not pretty. Now I have a few kids, family members and even my pastor as friends on Facebook.

So I know the whole "barf in mouth test" gives me a lot of leeway so I'm thinking of moving to a newer standard. I know that what people read and see on Facebook is really me. It reflects my political views, my hobbies, my friends, my marriage....in short its the image of myself that I portray to the world. However, I am also aware that I friended a 12 year old that posts things on my page asking me what Twilight character am I and how I feel about Miley Cyrus. (Don't like her or her achy breaky Dad). At the same time how do I discuss the prostitution (shout out for Amaria on 69th and Biscayne!) in my neighborhood and the state of my very gay, very sexual relationship with my Husband who I love most in the world? At the same time still hope that people respect me, understand that I am an accomplished professional, proud parent and have a deep love for the community I live in.

So I guess I've narrowed it down to a few simple rules:

1. Restrict what minors who are my friends can see.
2. Deny all friend requests from coworkers or employers
3. Do the best to write from the heart without attacking....(except Ann Coulter....hate her).
4.Would it make me throw up a little in my mouth?