'Tis true...Mark Twain really did say, "Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough."
A consummate student of the written word and the various environments in which it thrives (or dies) - such as social media, marketing, crisis communications, public, private and more - I'm intrigued by popular press publishings as of late that really show off how much of a spectrum there is when it comes to disclosure.
Exhibit 1. Tiger Woods.
Exhibit 2. Sarah Henderson.
Exhibit 3. The White House Party Crashers.
Exhibit 4. All Else.
On one end of the publicity stick, you have Tiger Woods. He is at the center of attention because of an incident that occurred. He appears not to want the attention, but too bad. He's getting it. Just moments ago, he released an official press statement that asked for privacy as he dealt with his "personal failings." Very similar to corporate mumbo-jumbo that calls for safe harbor language and legal disclaimers that show how "responsible" and "transparent" their business intentions are, this press release is non-emotional and way too professional. It's too bad corporations can't include some of that verbage in their quarterly financial releases as a way to appear more human and humane while at the same time allowing everyone to cover their own ass. As for Woods, he owes no one anything, so it's probably best to leave things unsaid.
On the other end of the publicity stick, you have Sarah Henderson. She is at the center of attention because she reacted to an incident that recently occurred. As daughter of Fritz Henderson, GM's CEO who just stepped down from his top dog post at a troubled US auto maker, Sarah jumped into the ring before the bell had been rung. Some may call her behavior irrational and ridiculous (lots of f bombs, all caps) while some may say that she has the freedom to stand up for her dad, thanks to social media platforms that turn official banter into everyday conversations. Imagine having a conversation at work when all of a sudden folks start attacking your spouse in a very personal manner. Who, among us, would not feel great difficulty in restraining our own emotional responses? Especially under the guise of such intimate communication that which social media often offers. That's why we use it. It's personal. So when it becomes personal, we should not be surprised. Or should we?
Then somewhere on the spectrum of publicity, there is a dangerous off-shoot where the Salahi's reside. Oh, they are certainly not by themselves. They are in good company: Jon and Kate, Heidi and Spencer, Dog the Bounty Hunter, any Real Housewives, lots of aging reality characters from VH1 and other self-proclaimed superstar losers. It's an unattractive place to explain and even more difficult to understand, but suffice it to say that nothing is really all that painful, nothing is private and nothing is enjoyable all at the same time.
So that leaves the rest of us. Some of us write to stay connected. Some of us communicate as an emotional release. Some of us engage to get engaged while others are happy to shop around and enjoy the surf. All in all, you gotta take the good with the bad, the bad with the ugly and the endearing with the unbelievable.