Does Transparency Need a Filter?

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If we thought millennials shared too much, what are we to think of the YouTube generation or as they might be called, Gen C? Better yet, what are we to think of anyone with zero filter nowadays? A product of the times? Good for them, they’re just being transparent?

I ask that because recently a friend of mine was on a call in which there were multiple participants.  He mentioned that one person took it as an opportunity to share their dirty laundry, their clean laundry and anything else that might be bothering them. All at the expense of the others on the call and at the expense of the allotted time for the call. He said that at best, some of what he was talking about might have been relevant. At worst, it was awkward and uncomfortable.

Funny thing, this was not a millennial nor a Gen C’er. We think the aforementioned groups share too much and have no concept of what should and shouldn’t be shared in social media, but I digress.

Some might applaud this “transparency” as a new way to do business where we can all share our thoughts and feelings, but when is it too much? Even in a loose business setting, which this was not apparently, and especially on calls, time is fleeting. Personal forums for airing what bothers you on a conference call is not the time or place. It’s a matter of etiquette and being respectful of others’ time.

This has nothing to do with no filters and transparency and everything to do with understanding what tact is in a business setting. Clearly, there is a difference between being tactful, being blunt, and being transparent and having no filters. The key is to understand which one you’re supposed to use and when you’re supposed to use it.

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