Facebook – Where Your Personal Life and Business Life Collide

I received a “friend” request on Facebook from an old friend from high school the other day. He’s a fun person to hang out with, but is still a little wild and his Facebook page seems to showcase his love of tequila shots. Not necessarily something I want business associates to see when they hit my Facebook profile. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy – he’s responsible, doesn’t drink and drive, he’s married with kids and loves to travel. Hanging out and having a few drinks is just a part of his life. His request got me to thinking about worlds colliding on Facebook.

To add business associates or not to add business associates to your Facebook page, that is the question…Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…or make people upset with you because you don’t “friend” them.

With all your Facebook friends (and what’s a “friend” in Facebook really? More often than not it’s an acquaintance, someone you could have just as easily ignored when they wanted to be your friend but you didn’t want to hurt their feelings) writing whatever they want on your wall and taking all kinds of outrageous pictures and posting them with no regard for anything. Do you really want to mix your business colleagues with these people?

As the world gets smaller and smaller, in large part thanks to social media, I am becoming more and more careful about what I post online. When it comes to Facebook, I have my own page and we have an AHA page and we are about to launch our B2W page. I am conscious of keeping work and my personal life separate.

Does this stop business associates or clients checking my personal Facebook page? Maybe…maybe not. But I am also very aware when I am tagged in a photo. If I wouldn’t want it on the front cover of the Vancouver Sun or a client’s newsletter, I remove the tag of myself. This helps keep my reputation nice and clean, but I am sure if someone wanted to look deep enough, they could find a photo of me in a pub somewhere on Facebook.

If there was a photo I found offensive, upsetting or embarrassing, I would politely ask my friend to remove it from their Facebook page. (Although I am old enough to know better than to put myself in a situation that I don’t want to see on the Internet!)

If anyone out there has their personal friends, business associates and clients on the same Facebook page and it’s working out, please let me know. I’d love to know how you are managing the different aspects of your life.

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