As the tide of social media sweeps fully into the business sector, the lines between personal and professional are getting blurred, especially in a position like mine as an online media coordinator. I’ve always kept my online identity in the semi-public (yet mostly private) sphere. I mean, total strangers have been reading my various blogs for years—but a stranger reading my blog is quite different than my boss and co-workers reading it. Which I kind of feel weird typing because they may read this.
And that’s just the catch. I’ve had personal blogs for years, but now I need to be able to share my blogging in the professional realm to prove that I know a thing or two about it. And I can’t very well share the blog where I make all kinds of candid confessions. Now it’s extending to Facebook too. I manage two Facebook pages for my organization. To get administrative access to them, my boss had to add me as a friend first. That wasn’t actually much of a big deal because my current boss is young and cool and would not judge me professionally because I might have a couple photos of me acting silly on my Facebook page. But if she wasn’t … that’d be a different story.
As I get more and more business-minded, I want to use my Facebook page as a promotional tool of my “brand” where I can follow other social media professionals and writers and comment on their updates and links and whatnot and not worry about them viewing my profile and finding an off-color joke from one of my friends posted right at the top. (Not that such a thing happens frequently, but it’s a possibility.) Or even worse—if I made a status update that seems politically or religiously inflammatory for anyone who doesn’t fully know my stance on the issue.
Hence: dilemma. If I make my Facebook page professional, then my friends will have little or no interest in it and will not get to know about any of the quotidian details of my life that Facebook is so great for announcing. If I keep it personal, my colleagues will likely learn more about me than I want them to.