Social Media and Integration

I recently “breached” my personal/business social media boundary. I went to a conference and, during the conference, met some VERY intelligent and engaging folks. When I returned, I sent, as I normally do, many of them invites to Linked In. I used to maintain every contact in my own database, but rapidly realized that delegation of personal information to the owner leads to much more accurate data.

Then it happened. One of my recent acquaintances, whom I very much enjoyed speaking with, invited me to be a member of a Facebook group. Woah…hold on… then we will be friends on Facebook? And, while I very much respect you professionally, how do I divide this world of colleagues and my cohorts? You might like that I am on board with your opinion professionally, but how will that change when one of my high school buddies tags me in a picture with a beer bong. (Not that I’ve ever actually done a beer bong, but I might have held a couple in my time.)

A strange thing happened to me.. I suddenly realized that, as much as I consider myself an integrated person, I was pretty compartmentalized, professionally. I had to ask myself, “Why is that? What are you afraid of sharing?” My answer was surprising. I have been holding myself back in many instances because I have been feeling that I carry the responsibility of my employer and their image. While I should feel that way, ultimately, it’s about fit. I’m not out there streaking! I’m not doing things which are illegal, nor immoral. I have my opinions; those aren’t changed by others/my employer and they make me who I am. (That sounds so redundant, right?). I looked around me and found that those to whom I’m most drawn are those who carry their “freak flag” openly. They also appear to be some of the more successful folks.

So, with a little bit of work, (going through all of my contacts and creating security lists, mostly out of courtesy so my colleagues don’t have to see pictures of my son’s latest mountain bike escapade) I committed to and have now integrated many of my professional colleagues into my Facebook world.

That leaves a pretty good question though… for what am I going to use LinkedIn now? Oh yeah…for those who haven’t integrated yet.

Comments are closed.