To Facebook Or Not to Facebook, That Is my Question

At a recent professional networking event, a colleague told me she uses all social media for work and personal life. “It is all one big mash-up” she said, there is no reason to try to seperate them. Hmm.

Then I got to talking to another colleague recently at lunch. Like me, she uses some social media for her professional life and others for her personal life. We both use LinkedIn pretty extensively for business networking and Facebook for our personal lives. (Interestingly, neither one of us is quite sure what to do with twitter.)

We talked at length about the risks associated with mixing the two. We wondered aloud if we are just really too cynical for our own good and if the other colleague’s concept of a “mash-up” was really more on target.

Then I ran across this blog post about personal photos on Facebook from an Obama campaign speechwriter: http://blog.ragan.com/prjunkie/2008/12/obama_speechwriter_gone_wildand_caught_on_facebook.html

Whoa. Altough I never have that much fun at gatherings with friends, this is just the kind of thing that I think is great in some contexts and a disaster in others. So, I am right back to my cynical belief that there is value to separating the personal you from the business you online.

3 thoughts on “To Facebook Or Not to Facebook, That Is my Question

  1. At some point we all want to try to lead two online lives = personal and professional. The reality hits sooner or later — your personal profiles can and most likely will be linked to your professional profiles. Aside from that fact, there is also the reality that people want and even expect transparency on the web. If you choose to try to have two separate online identities, you should never post anything on your personal profiles that you wouldnt want your professional contacts (or perfect strangers) to see.

  2. Great discussion and one we kind of had at my company last week. I think the two are forever entwined if you want to use social media to its fullest.

    My main goal with social networking is to be out there. I want my name to be easily searchable. I want potential clients to be able to find me (well technically my agency), and I want potential employers to know what kind of professionl I am. That means they can look on my LinkedIn page, my blog or my Twitter account and get to know Melanie — not work Melanie or home Melanie. I’m working to develop a Facebook page to echo that sentiment as well.

    Thanks,
    Melanie

    http://melyt.wordpress.com
    @melyt

  3. I think it’s futile to try and separate the two, unfortunately. People already have a gajillion logins and passwords to remember for all their various online activity…

    Better IMO to assume one whole online identity and be prepared for the realities of putting yourself “out there”.