Social Circles

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I just signed up for Google+ and I’m not particularly impressed yet. I already barely use my Facebook. I mostly use Twitter, but probably not in the same way most of my co-workers do. I have multiple accounts, each with different names, and each talking about different aspects of my life. There is Work-Bouv, Gamer-Bouv and Coder-Bouv (these are not the actual names by the way) — and the people I want to talk to about each don’t want to hear about the others. My social circles shouldn’t be forced to interact with each other.

I miss the days of nicks & handles. I don’t care about the anonymity, but I want my online personalities separated. Google+ at least allows a sane way to send out updates by choosing who to include (where Facebook status updates you choose who to exclude, which is bass-ackwards). But on Google+, I’m still known as Anthony Bouvier, and not by the online names I choose for my other side of life. I know many, many people by their online names and not by their real names, and I don’t see the issue with that. I hate being forced to do otherwise.

Google+ should allow me to have multiple profiles facing outward. I could link my gamer friends to one because that’s how they know me, and link my work fellows to the other. That’s the whole reason I don’t use Facebook often — except to talk about my dog Beefy because she crosses the social borders. I don’t talk about politics, gaming, code or anything specific to my personality much on Facebook because it is a chore to juggle who I’m talking to.

That’s why I mostly use Twitter. I can follow a whole different set of people and be followed back. We can have conversations about hobby stuff and not think about how my professional profile followers react.

Social media doesn’t have to be everyone knowing everyone like some big hippie love-in. Give me control over how I want to handle my social circles.


  • August 10, 2011, 3:04 pm  Reply

    This is a tough one because I feel we ought to be more integrated and honest with ourselves and the people we interact with, esp. online where it’s so easy to be, as you put it “Gamer-Celia”, “Work-Celia”, “Friend-Celia” etc. I’m personally working to make all of those people be the same person.

    Just curious if you find the massive amount of juggling to be worth it or not?

  • August 10, 2011, 3:35 pm  Reply

    I do find it to be worth it because in real life you have separate groups of friends that don’t interact, right? The people you go to church with are not the always the same ones you watch the Super Bowl with.

    I think that in some ways social media has forced people to create new personalities without them knowing it. You become a watered down version of yourself because you’re speaking to a blended group online. You’re not nearly as emphatic about topics if you know people in your friends list are anti-yourview (politics, religion, etc) or more likely, just not interested in what you’re talking about. So you choose only safe topics to talk about — your kids, your dogs, your hate of the steamy weather .. things that are more easily shared. Is this everyone? No. I’m not saying that this definitely happens, but it is easy to see how it does, right?

    If I started spouting off about game theory and how to be a good war gamer on my @thebouv Twitter account, I’d lose half the people who follow me probably. They want to cut down on the noise and they signed up to hear from the CTO of CurrentMarketing.

    If I were to start a blog, I wouldn’t have a blog that talked about gaming, coding, and marketing — it wouldn’t be successful.

    Of course, the “watered down online personality syndrome” I’m talking about is just my opinion of a possible side-effect of social media. Worth thinking and writing more about I think.

  • August 11, 2011, 12:26 am  Reply

    I would agree work and personal social media needs to stay separate, but I allow my gaming friends, family, godly folks etc all hang out on my personal social media. It’s definitely a hodgepodge!

    Thanks for your insight, I look forward to more posts about this topic. Social Media is pushing a lot of boundaries that used to be taboo and it’s fascinating to me watching how and why people use it.

  • Anthony Bouvier
    August 11, 2011, 11:14 am  Reply

    At this point I’m just rambling about it as I try to mesh this all together in my head. Right now I’m sticking to keeping my online identities separated, and so far I’m having no issues doing so. And in each area, I feel like I can really be myself .. which is what it’s supposed to be about, right?

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