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Social Media Violates the Dual Work/Home Personality

You hate Facebook and can’t stand Twitter. You are mystified as to why anyone would want to share their personal information on the Internet and you probably make fun of people who do. The surprise is that it’s not because you’re male or because you’re over 40. But you are.

The reason Social Media is such an annoyance to you is because it goes against everything you were taught as you grew up. Social Media exposes your private persona and violates the boundary between your professional and personal identities.

Self Identity Devoured By The Corporation
Industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries changed reshaped the life of the American male. As employment opportunities switched from being primarily farmers and small business owners to employees of the factories and corporations, workers found that their on-the-job behavior had to conform to company expectations. Job advancement within the company structure depended on a bosses perception of the perceived professionalism of the employee and not who they were in real life. That transformed the American worker into an actor who performed by the company script while he was under the watchful eye of his employer.

This division of a person’s life between home and work created a dual personality in men. At home a man was relaxed, caring, and spontaneous, or ‘unprofessional.’ At work a man was controlled, self-conscious, and unemotional, or ‘professional.’ As corporations became bigger, the division between the home and work personas became deeper to the point that a man might not be recognizable to his co-workers if their paths crossed outside of the work day.

Enter Social Media
Social Media tools like Facebook and Twitter have no work/home boundaries. The idea that a man should have a two personas is laughable in a Google searchable world that exposes the smallest of lies. That cold and tough business man doesn’t look so tough or cold when he posts pictures of his family activities on Facebook and that strips a man of his power base. The fake professionalism at work that empowers him can’t compete with the real person revealed on-line. The more a man’s power is dependent on his ‘professional’ persona, the more likely he is to abhor Social Media.

However, men who are angry about the lack of privacy in Social Media are trying to wage a hopeless battle to protect the nurtured idea that they must maintain two separate personas. The problem is that humans were never meant to divide their lives. Who we are at home is who we should be at work and vice versa.

It is understandable why you hate Facebook and can’t stand Twitter. They expose your greatest vulnerability…the real you. Perhaps someday that won’t seem like a vulnerability to you. And perhaps someday you’ll understand that the real you is not your weakness, but your strength.