There was a time when information was THE ultimate currency. It was so precious that it in some instance “a little knowledge’ was considered “a dangerous thing”.
Today – information is like a Starbucks. You can find it anywhere and in ridiculous combinations and sizes.
Big data?! Whatever. You can have Venti data.
And because of this over abundance of easily accessed information – there has been a serious devaluation.
People treat information like it means nothing, particularly when it is of the personal nature. Oh I am sure there are many who will call it knowledge-sharing. All in the name of the greater good. More often than not, I see it as one-upping. As in, who can provide the latest and greatest news before anyone else.
Today, if I so desired, I could share just about anything I wanted with my immediate circle or the whole wide (connected) world in a matter of seconds. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, this blog, Instagram, email, …. click, click, click. Shared
What I ate for breakfast, where I am standing, who I’m with, my state of mind, my opinion, a photo of someone else, my opinion on the photo of someone else, the weather, self-promotion, promotion of someone else, someone else’s opinion, my opinion on someone else’s opinion, love, hate, frustration, anger, melancholy.
All of it. All of the time.
You know, I could also re-paint the exterior of my house hot pink. It would take a little longer, but it would be out there for all those that pass by to see. I would be sharing it – whether they want to see it or.
Of course I’m not likely to repaint the house (at least not hot pink) anytime soon – it takes effort and quite honestly the novelty would wear off pretty quick and I’m stuck with my Barbie house until I undo the damage.
Sharing my information via the interweb however…well that takes no effort whatsoever. I don’t have to even think about it. However the lasting effect and impact is a lot longer.
And before anyone feels like I’m about to launch into an after school special about the dangers of posting things online, I’m not. If you are reading this blog then you are likely an intelligent adult and know all the playground rules about social media.
What I’m trying to establish is that we have become so incredibly accustomed to sharing information that I think we are losing touch with whether or not it should be shared.
It never ceases to amaze me when employees share personal information about their pay, about their performance reviews, about conversations they had with others. Think it’s all just hearsay? Nope – I’ve seen the texts that back it up. It boggles my mind.
A transparent process or workplace does not mean that you should draft an email about what your colleague told me she got as a performance review. An equitable and inclusive workplace does not mean ensuring that you share everyone’s information equally.
Repeat after me: ” I do not have to share everything. I am not obligated to pass along every tidbit of information I overhear or come by. It is not necessary to reveal every last detail about all aspects of my personal and professional life.”
Now copy and paste the last statement and post that on all your accounts.