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Perky by Force?


Is it just me, or are the majority of Tweets and Facebook postings quite perky?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is authentic?  Is everyone really and truly that happy all the time? (If so, rush hour commuters must not engage in social media networks.) 

So, you’ve had a bad day

While nobody wants to spend a great deal of time around a sad apple or someone who constantly plays on the mood swings, it’s safe to say we all go there once in a while.  Family strife, work place politics, money woes and relationship challenges exist and naturally impact our mood.

Tweeting taboo?

Do we refrain from posting something negative to maintain or invent a reputation?  I ask, because I know a few people with real-life dispositions akin to Eeyore who Tweet and post the most perky of messages which is quite contrary to any interaction one would have if meeting them in real life.   

I have to admit I don’t often engage my social networks with the negative happenings in my life.  I believe we all have enough conflama (my own word meaning conflict + drama) so why add to it.  However, I don’t believe my voice on my networks to be so “off message” if someone met me in real life, I’d come across as a completely different person.  Then again, those of you that have met me IRL after having “met” me somewhere online would need to validate that belief. 

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All that said, I do go on the occasional rant, or throw out snarky comments.  Yep, I said it.  Snarky.

What do you think?

Does refraining from the negative make involvement with social networks less-than-authentic?  If you are not displaying a 360 degree view of your life are you being real?  Or, is it better to refrain from broadcasting the latest on your crazy grandma in the basement or the nutty you just threw because the dry cleaner lost your favorite suit coat?

Written By

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.



  1. Ben Goheen

    August 7, 2009 at 1:27 am

    @brandiei you obviously haven’t been following me very closely on twitter 🙂

  2. Joe Spake

    August 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Transparency is all about telling it like it is. I have been called a contrarian and a cynic, but I have never been called dishonest.

  3. Benn Rosales

    August 7, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I don’t find mood differences, and if I did I don’t think it would bother me that much. What I do find more often than not is a complete and utter failure of conversational and relationship skills- so awkward, cold, passive aggressive and boring. That being said, it doesn’t bother me, because once you recognize it you can deal with it.

    The truth is, body language is the critical missing ingredient when you’re online, the micro clues the face and body exhibit give a person away instantly as you interpret the language at first glance. How you handle it from there is the challenge, because the person behind that awkard display may just turn out to be your bff or be just as cold as you first perceived them to be, but you will not find out until you make the effort.

  4. Chuck G

    August 7, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I’m with you…I just posted an article about the horrendous unemployment and office vacancy rates in Silicon Valley. Hard to toot your horn about a housing recovery when 1/5 of the commercial office space is vacant, and nearly 12% of the valley is unemployed. Bad news isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s reality, and it telling both sids of the story helps establish your credibility.

  5. Joe Loomer

    August 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Completely agree with Joe & Chuck on this – I routinely post market reports that are contrary to local media fluff stories about a non-existant housing recovery here in Augusta.

    Although mostly negative, I find it has helped me establish myself as a local economist of choice and market expert. In short – posting negative data is still data – I don’t get the blame for the market.

    Honesty is always the best policy.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Ian Greenleigh

    August 7, 2009 at 11:27 am

    @1000wattmarc is a good example of someone on twitter that has no bones about saying what he thinks publicly. I think this has worked to his advantage, largely because he’s nearly always right. People value those that are willing to say what they themselves are too shy or afraid of saying.

  7. Ruthmarie Hicks

    August 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I basically say what I think….My tweets aren’t that “perky” come to think of it. I don’t post negative depressing stuff on a continuing basis either. I post reports that tell the housing story in our area – the good, bad and ugly. If people only want to listen to the “good” and “perky” then I am in a lot of trouble….Actually, I think being all perky and happy all the time cause people to be a bit suspicious of the poster. After all -who is going to believe me when the market really is good – if I tell them its great when it is really horrible?

  8. Ken Brand

    August 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Nice call Brandie.

    I think, just like in real life, sharing personal negativity doesn’t help the sharer or the sharee. Having said that, I believe that sharing challenges, disappointments, reality, downside, etc. is expected, acceptable, real and appreciated. Being a victim a bully or eyore sucks.

    I also think what’s shared on-line should be as authentic as the pictures in our Avatars, otherwise no one will know us when they meet us.

    As for me, I’m generally a perky, glass half full kinda guy, except I spike it with optimistic cynicism. This morning I’m recovering from a @RobHahn ICSF after hours celestial hurricane. I feel like train-wreck wreckage, except I have a smile on my face.

    As for you, my take, your on-line persona is in virtuous-alignment, meeting you IRL was even MORE.


  9. BawldGuy

    August 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    When I began telling it the way it is in my local market, i.e. ‘why are you still there as an investor?’, my rep for saying what I believe became fairly well established. Though folks have argued the point with me on occasion, they’ve been very respectful.

    Twitter? Same thing, as I’m with Ken and you on this one.

  10. Bob

    August 7, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    As Benn said, body language is missing, and so is the vocal aspect. With key components of communication factors missing, non-verbal communication can easily be mis-understood.

  11. Baltimore Homes

    August 8, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Well, I have noticed this fact as well. It is similar to speaking with a friend who always tells you something depressing or has a drama filled life. Eventually people ignore them or shun away from them in social settings. Everyone has problems, but no one wants to hear the gloom and doom. I for one do not post negative thoughts or bad facebook messages. The Facebook and Twitter’s of the world are happy places. Don’t we all need a happy place?

  12. Missy Caulk

    August 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

    What is Twitter?

  13. Matt Stigliano

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

    @brandielei I agree that if you post 100% super-duper happy love-fest everything’s-gonna-be-ok stuff, but are in truth one step away from putting on the “White Album” and rocking in a corner holding a tattered teddy bear and whispering “mommy” every few seconds, people are going to see the truth when they meet you. I’m not advocating hearing the depressing details of your life, but I am advocating showing a true picture. I do have frustrations, I do have days where I dislike what I have to do, I do have days when I want to scream. Showing them the “real” you is one of the more important trust builders in my eyes.

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