Transparency vs Authenticity in Professional Social Networks

According to Wikipedia, transparency used within the context of business and behavior is defined as: a metaphor—implying visibility in contexts related to the behavior of individuals or groups. Likewise authentic is described as a particular way of dealing with the external world, being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.

With the onset of Blogging and Social Networks such as MySpace and Facebook, the word “transparency” has become akin to revealing all in public. Sometimes casually referred to as “over sharing,” early bloggers talked about everything including their deepest, most private feelings. Photos were being posted on social web sites that revealed drunkenness, partial nudity, or people depicted in violent situations.  Now we have “tagging,” where information can be randomly added to someone’s photo, with or without his or her knowledge.

All is done in the name of being and remaining “transparent.”

How does “transparency” come back to haunt you as an entrepreneur or new college grad looking for a good position at a worthwhile company? A lot of HR Departments are now vetting potential employees on Facebook and MySpace. They can do a simple Google search and find your blog – or literally your online “diary,” where you have revealed not only your deepest thoughts and concerns about yourself, or your religious or political beliefs… but you’ve revealed too much of yourself that may hinder you getting the position that you are interviewing for.

A lot of professional web sites such as LinkedIn have a “profile meter.” Asking you to not only include professional information about yourself – but also personal information. All geared toward someone getting to know you better. Transparency.

However, now is the time to become a bit more “authentic” and less transparent. Let’s learn how to deal with our external world, the business world, by being faithful to our external ideas and judgments about business, clients, prospects, and peers. Being authentic to universal external concepts and perspectives regarding honesty, business etiquette and the reciprocation of ideas, and being open to the perspectives and ideas of others you are doing business with. While remaining faithful to your internal ideas… but keeping much of these ideas and perspectives to oneself…or at least on a personal blog or profile and away from the eyes of your external word…the business world.

Cd Vann a.k.a. Thatwoman_soho , owner of and Publisher of Magazine Soho is passionate about remaining less “Transparent” and more Authentic when participating in professional and social networking circles. She enjoys a good glass of wine and a chocolate cigar.

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