February 7, 2023

Are you Particular, Promiscuous, or Private?

6883265092_ea734276d0_mThere are of course as many different ways to use social media (or not) as there are people. But I was thinking the other day that probably most of us who use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook probably fall into one of three camps:

  • Promiscuous — These are the people who share just about everything. You know how many pets they have and of which kind, you know if they have kids, you know how many, how old, and also that you will see every cute or horrible thing that they do as it will be posted by their adoring parent.
  • Particular — These people don’t post everything, they post very selectively.
  • Private — These are the lurkers. They like to see what is going on with their friends but they only rarely, if ever, share themselves. I know a young person like this. She is a very private person and she has never shared anything on Facebook despite having an account.

Having created these categories, I would guess that many of us go in and out of these categories at different times and for different purposes. But do you consider yourself to be promiscuous, particular, or private when it comes to social media?


Photo by e-codices, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC 2.0

Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.


  1. WEll i fall in “Particular” cat, I am careful about what to make public, and how to keep privacy.