Mastering Your Online Persona: The Art of the Public-Private Self

Mastering Your Persona: The Art of the Public-Private Self
Photo Courtesy: Joanne McCall

By: Joanne McCall

In the digital era, where personal and professional lives frequently intersect, mastering the creation of a “public-private self” is essential. This concept, which I first encountered during my early career in radio broadcasting, involves curating a persona that blends elements of your personal life that you are comfortable sharing publicly without feeling excessively exposed.

Balancing personal openness and privacy is crucial for anyone cultivating an online presence. Sharing personal details can make you appear more human and relatable, enhancing your connection with your audience. However, discretion is key, as oversharing can expose you to risks and vulnerabilities.

Strategies for Developing a Public-Private Self Online

  • Define Your Boundaries: It’s essential to establish what aspects of your personal life you are open to sharing. This might include selective insights into your family, relationships, or personal interests while keeping details like health, finances, or deeply personal experiences private.
  • Postpone Sharing Travel Details: In an age where real-time updates are expected, consider sharing your travel experiences post-return. This minimizes safety risks and unwanted attention during your actual travel.
  • Manage Personal Content: While it may be tempting to share significant personal milestones, weigh the potential impact on your privacy and how others might misuse such information.
  • Consistent Persona Across Platforms: Ensure the persona you project is consistent across various platforms. This doesn’t mean sharing identical content everywhere but maintaining a coherent image that complements your professional identity and personal brand.
  • Control Your Narrative: Be deliberate about your posts’ tone, style, and content. Share insights and experiences that resonate with your audience, but don’t compromise your privacy.
  • Use Privacy Settings: Make the most of privacy settings on social platforms to control who sees your posts, who can tag you, and how much of your personal information is visible to others.
  • Regular Content Reviews: Periodically review your online content to ensure it still represents your current self and adheres to your privacy boundaries.
  • Educate Yourself on Platform Policies: It is crucial to understand the privacy policies and terms of service of the platforms you use. This knowledge can help you decide what and where to share.
  • Reflect Your Values: Let your personal values and ethics guide your online sharing. This helps maintain authenticity and ensures that your public persona genuinely reflects who you are.
  • Enhance Your Digital Literacy: Keep abreast of digital skills and privacy trends. This knowledge is vital in managing your online presence effectively and securely.

Authenticity and Handling Negativity

Authenticity online does not mean divulging your deepest secrets. It means sharing genuine aspects of yourself in a way that does not compromise your safety or comfort. Moreover, dealing with online negativity, especially from trolls, is often part of the online experience. Remember: Trolls have no life. Where possible, it’s best to ignore or delete harmful comments to preserve your mental well-being.

Understanding your comfort level with what you share online is the cornerstone of developing a balanced public private self. Use this knowledge to wisely navigate your online interactions, ensuring that you share enough to connect authentically with your audience while protecting your privacy effectively. Your personal insights, paired with these strategies, can help you maintain a healthy, secure, and effective online presence.

Mastering Your Persona: The Art of the Public-Private Self
Photo Courtesy: Joanne McCall

Media insider, publicist, PR coach, and trainer Joanne McCall, shares her advice and insider secrets for building your audience and networks, and delivering impactful interviews on desirable media outlets. With two decades of experience, she has worked with notables such as Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Dr. Richard, Bandler, and many others. Her latest book is Media Darling: Shine Through Every Interview.


Published By: Aize Perez


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