But you’re not. If you were, your offline world would be very similar to your online. And it’s not. How do I know? I don’t. But I do know how my offline world works and there are but a few similarities between the two. I bet for some of you, If you sat down and did a side by side comparison of what you do online versus what you do offline-you would no doubt see that they are very very different. They are apples and oranges. Your offline world ain’t so transparent.
So what’s my point? Marketers, Social media marketers, and PR people who preach about asking or telling someone to be transparent online in social networks, might want to re-think that. Why? Because it’s more difficult than you think.
Yes, some do come out of their shells online. And the numbers bear that out. Possibly because they are now hiding behind the screen, they can now be this completely “other” person. Can they finally become the person they really are underneath it all? It’s possible. The “real you”? Maybe. The flip side though is, they can be the asshole too. There’s transparency that shows the good in a person, but there’s also the transparency that shows the bigot, the evil and the cruel in some people as well. Online personas allow that.
You see being transparent has different connotations depending on where you are and who you are. Asking someone to all of a sudden “be”, is a lot more difficult than you think. You never thought about that did you? We throw around the words authentic and transparent in social networks, because they are”buzzy” and the words du jour, but what we have failed to realize is that asking someone to all of a sudden change gears and be something that they can barely “do” offline can be a lot more difficult than it appears not to be. Sometimes I wonder if we want the “real” you online.