Your boss views your tailgating photos on Instagram, your Facebook friends see you complaining about your job or your Scouts read your tweets in favor of a politician.
You’ve just encountered context collapse. That’s the phrase for something intended for a specific audience that becomes seen by a much wider, unintended audience.
It happens in the real world, like if you run into a coworker, Scout or Scouter at church or a political rally. But it happens even more frequently online, where we can instantly share sometimes-controversial views with a few simple taps on the keyboard.
Thanks to context collapse, your boss can see your vacation photos, your friends can see what you’re saying about work, and — most importantly for our purposes — your Scouts can see what you’re liking on Facebook, whether that’s Lolcats, a political cause or your favorite microbrewery.
We know that more than two-thirds (71 percent, to be exact) of online adults use Facebook, meaning chances are good you’re dealing with context collapse even if you don’t know it. So it’s a good idea to take a second to think about your online existence and who in your life sees what. That’s especially relevant when Scouts are involved.
Mark shares three strategies for dealing with context collapse and making sure you don’t reveal more about yourself than you’re comfortable sharing. Ranging from the most extreme to the simplest, they are: Continue reading