When I first set up a profile on myspace (a couple of years ago), I mostly just copied sections of my various dating site profiles. Later on I added a survey module, that found somewhere. Until now I hadn't shared that page with my family or with certain groups of friends.
So after I made a pass to ensure that there wasn't anything there I wouldn't mind my niece and nephews seeing, clicked the link to add my mom as a friend. [I also did the same for my brother and niece, who were already on my mom's friend list.]
In our daily lives most of us display a certain persona to our co-workers, a different persona to our family and yet another to our friends. Thus it can be a bit awkward when these groups intersect, particularly if the groups may not have the same political and/or religious views. It makes sense that our online identities, profiles, etc. parallel these real world projections, but the growing the interconnectedness and search-ability of these profiles is making these intersections more common and sometimes less obvious.
As social networking sites get more sophisticated, most people will want the ability to group their associations and share different information with different groups. I don't think that most people necessarily want to hide who they really are. However they don't necessarily want to advertise everything about themselves to everyone.
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