Living

The one thing too private for Facebook....

What's private anymore? If you scan most people's Facebook page or Twitter, it seems not much. We post endless vacation pictures, which range from the scenic to the jaw-droppingly candid. (I'm talking about the drunken party shots that make you email your friends and say, ‘Have you seen Greg’s Facebook page this morning?’

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What’s private anymore? If you scan most people’s Facebook page or Twitter, it seems not much.

We post endless vacation pictures, which range from the scenic to the jaw-droppingly candid. (I’m talking about the drunken party shots that make you email your friends and say, ‘Have you seen Greg’s Facebook page this morning?’

I’ve seen people bicker back and forth on Twitter and I’ve seen people announce the death of a loved one on Facebook. Recently, I saw the sonogram of a mutual acquaintance in my newsfeed.

We’re an exhibitionistic lot and we don’t care who knows it. But it seems there’s still one thing we’re not keen to make public and that’s how much money we make.

A new survey commissioned by the US employment site Glassdoor.com indicates that most people clam up when it comes to talking about their salary online. In fact, only two percent of the more than 2,000 men and women polled said they were comfortable discussing how much they make publicly.

I was always told it’s not polite to ask about money, particularly how much a person makes. But I have to say that finding out someone’s salary can be extremely enlightening, not to mention helpful. If you work in the same profession, it provides a good gauge of where you’re at in terms of fair compensation. If you’re going up for a promotion or asking for a raise, it helps to be armed with real figures.

While it’s awkward to ask a friend about their salary, there’s nothing in the etiquette handbook that says it’s impolite to volunteer information. That being said, what occasion could possibly justify discussing how much money you make online?

“Merry Christmas, I just got a $10,000 raise!” just doesn’t sound right somehow. 

If you make a lot of money, talking about your salary just sounds like bragging. If you make very little, it sounds like whining.

Money isn’t the only taboo that appears to be alive and well within the realm of social media. The survey also found that most people don’t like to discuss their sex lives online either.

Money and sex. Human beings probably think about both more than any two other topics (excluding the queries ‘what’s for dinner?’ and ‘what’s on TV?’, of course). And yet, isn’t it funny that it’s the subjects that we’re most curious about that we’re most also likely to keep to ourselves? 

Perhaps we’re a little more private than our vacation shots indicate.