A couple of months ago I wrote about my explorations of the social networking world. (You can see my post about Facebook here and my post about LinkedIn here.) Being middle-aged and having a slight streak of Ludditism in me, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to sign on to Facebook or even LinkedIn. But in the interests of staying au currant, I developed profiles on both sites…and began to play.
And oh, how the Luddite Mighty have fallen.
I suspect I have not yet plumbed the depths of the LinkedIn’s professional possibilities. I’ve made some good connections, yes, but need to work with that site more. ‘Nuff said.
But Facebook…ah, Facebook.
On Facebook, I found, I could post funny stories about my children, or my chickens, or my giant drooling dog (unlike – cough – what I write about on Business EQ — does anyone remember the Top Ten List of Business EQ Tips You Can Learn From Chickens?). On Facebook, I found friends from many different periods of my life, from childhood to high school, college, graduate school, my early career days, and now my ripe ol’ middle age. And as someone who has moved around a fair bit, this has had a healing quality for me – it has lets me pull through the common social threads of my life and be back in touch with some very creative, very smart, and very funny people from my past.
For six months, though, I kept Facebook strictly personal. I didn’t invite colleagues and co-workers. It’s not that I don’t like my colleagues and co-workers; I’m blessed with a delightful professional community. No, the issue was that I didn’t want to deal with the need to present a professional face on Facebook or the fear that someone would post something on my Wall about something silly that I did in my early 20s. (Note the lack of link there.) But then people who had read one of my books starting inviting me to be friends. And people that I knew, politically or socially, from my town. Or people who were both my colleagues and my friends.
And so the dilemma began of who to invite, who to ignore, and how to navigate the line between personal and professional on Facebook.
Next up: Should there even be a line?