So you could say that I'm in the media. But I stayed out of the social media for a lot longer than many of my peers. Too busy writing, and perhaps too far out of the mainstream - you don't get to many media events if you live in Cornwall and write mainly for London. Even when I did get into social media, I didn't take it seriously. I started a Facebook page because the "chat" function was the only way to communicate with my daughter when she went travelling overseas. I've no memory of starting up my LinkedIn page, and for a long time I only visited it to accept connections (boy, it needs an update).
This blog has been useful as a "morning pages" exercise (as in: Julia Cameron), and I'm now @williamessex on Twitter. I go to the monthly meetings of the Social Media Cafe meetup group in Truro, and I get frequent enough questionnaires from PR companies to know which social media I could be using professionally - although mostly I tick the <no> box. There isn't ever a <never heard of it> box.
I've worked out that I could build a useful identity by connecting my various social media together and getting into the habit of updating them. No special advantage to doing that, but various downsides to not doing it. And missed opportunities. But that's not why I'm writing. My perspective as a "late adopter" gives me a dilemma. Way back in the time before social media, which for me is recently, it was possible to live distinct lives.
Nothing sinister in that, and it hasn't gone away. People are different at work from how they are at home. Those two worlds intersect, but they're not the same. At the Social Media Cafe last time, people were talking about having separate business and personal Twitter accounts. All very normal.
Except ... social media do represent an opportunity not to rebuild an old division. They are a simultaneously "push" and "pull" connection to the world, and maybe they could increase the openness in both directions. I'm writing this in my kitchen. Where I am "at work". I see the value of a social-media presence, both personally and professionally; I'm late to that party. I see that I'm several different people - family man, writer about finance, storyteller for children - and I can see that those roles don't necessarily complement each other.
But I don't want to use these new (to me) social media to reconstruct the old (defensive?) barriers between my various personae. How do I mix it all together into one functional social-media me that doesn't bore everybody?
At least part of the answer is: build it up gradually. Not least because every time I try to write one of those "personal profile" paragraphs, I get stuck on the "Who am I?" question. It was okay when the paper CV went to one person and was never seen again, but if half the audience (or all of it?) already know that I'm not really a dynamic, creative, self-starting team player ... what am I?
Maybe I should ask them.