Almost in all social media platform, there are two types of active online users: generators and observers (may not be the best name here but hopefully you get the idea). I think I tend to be more in the generator side.
The question, "should we put ourselves out there?" has been a recurring topic between several of my friends. Most of my friends in Berkeley are not on Twitter. They found the notion of posting your thoughts out there is risky and could make you vulnerable. I understand where they come from, but for me, I found myself don't care as much.
Over this past year of using Twitter regularly has drastically changed my horizon of information consumption. I get to follow the streams of thought of people I aspired to be. This helped me stretch my own thinking. I also get to meet driven and interesting people who I end up being good friends with. I think these all happens because we are willing to put ourselves out there.
So far, I've seen net positive than negative. I am saying "net" here because I do sometimes still self-censor myself. Sometimes I would put up content I regret later, for example, some sensitive emotional statement. This is an internal negative, of course - the effort of constant censorship to strive for balance.
Then, there are external negatives - the possibilities that all these online content could be used against me in the future.
I have thought about the ups and downs, and my stand now is that I will continue to generate. I know I will make mistakes. With this acknowledgment, I will be sure to own up to my mistakes. Some statements can be immature but they can be a good snapshot to push for improvement and reflect my growth later on. The key is to evolve and become better.
The world has a blurred line of right or wrong because everyone has a draw on it. "This is an asymmetrical game where bad moves cost almost nothing, and good moves are worth a lot." - No Body Cares by Florent Crivello (https://florentcrivello.com/index.php/2018/05/20/nobody-cares/)
PS: Today I also stumbled across Sar Haribhakti's writing on this topic on his blog (https://sarharibhakti.substack.com/p/reputation-and-writing). I think he put it in a really good way!