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A person is worth a 1000 words.

With all personal information available in the internet, it seems that there is no such thing as privacy anymore. To maintain integrity online, people go through countless measures: thinking twice before posting their thoughts, carefully screening pictures, selecting information filters and reading lengthy privacy policies to prevent the venting of unnecessary information into the atmosphere of ‘up for grabs’ that uses it for personal or corporate gain.

Nowadays, all it takes is a click of the button on a search engine to pick up everything we want to know about a person. We can check their Facebook, twitter, linked in, personal web sites, blogs and such to collect all available information. After a few minutes of browsing you get the approximate picture of who the person might be. You can check out their friends and family, significant others. You can find out where they live, and even where they are if you have their cell phone number.

More often than not, collection of information from different sources generates your opinion of the person, automatically sets up the boundaries and communication guidelines that you will hold. Based on your preconceived notions developed through your filters, based on the facts interpreted by your judgments, you execute a warrant against the person that you think you actually know. Nevertheless, in reality, your opinion of them is entirely based on hearsay.
I am guilty of that as much as the next person; however, I have been proven wrong about one too many people.

When you go on you information binge, you unconsciously create filter of expectations of people that serve as proverbial ‘beer goggles’ inhibiting you from seeing the person in functional un-objective way.

I have learned to hold off my judgments and first receive the information that is factual. I prefer to hear the information from the highest authority – from the person themselves.

In truth, when you ask someone questions to which you already know the answers, the tone of those answers given to you by the person will hold more information than you can ever find online. The little facts you might have taken out of context can bear a completely different connotation in direct communication with the individual and might even seed some coincidental stories that will allow you to further glimpse into that person psyche.

So next time you want to run numbers on your boss, a new friend, a crush, a coworker: stay objective in terms of what you find. Remember – the best source of valid information is “straight from the horse’s mouth”!

© Tatyana Bondarenko

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