When it comes to social networking utilities, should there be a line in the sand on whether it’s for personal contacts or professional connections? That’s what I’ve been struggling with of late.
Maybe I should share with you what first made this question come to mind for me. When I joined facebook a while back, I “friended” a lot of coworkers, some of whom I am friends with outside of work and some of whom I am acquaintances with at work.
About a month ago, one of my coworkers that I’m acquaintances with had a major event happen in her personal life, which I found out about through facebook. She’s nice. We say “hi” to each other. But this is something I don’t believe she would have told me in passing. We’re not close enough. Now, you could say that she shared it on facebook, so she must not have minded telling everyone. But I still felt weird finding out about it that way.
I also had a couple clients friend me recently on facebook and it made me a little uneasy. Not that I put things on there that are crazy and kooky. Just the normal stuff like photos of my beautiful family, friends writing funny things on my wall, etc. But what if one of those funny groups I joined to laugh about with friends isn’t seen as funny by a client. Things that people know about in our personal lives that they wouldn’t have known about pre-social networking can color their opinions of us in our professional lives.
That’s my concern. So I decided to save facebook for my personal contacts and Linkedin and twitter for my professional connections. But I’ve noticed lately that a lot of fellow bloggers whom I respect have links to their facebook pages on their blogs. Folks like Chris Brogan, Mack Collier and Lara Kretler.
Should I rethink my assessment? Am I going about it the wrong way? Am I missing out on great exchange by not opening up facebook to professional contacts as well? What do you think?
*image credit – facebook.com