Should You Get Personal On Facebook?

AHA - Facebook imageI have to admit that I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to social media use. On Facebook I have a blend of personal and professional contacts and there are days when that can be a little…different. To say the least.

I have great friends. They are creative, talented and most of them are living life to the fullest. Which means every once in a while, their Facebook posts can be surprising or even a little shocking.  Nothing illegal, immoral or unethical – it’s just that they can be a little wild sometimes. They are my friends for a reason – I like them, I love hearing about their lives – especially the ones that live in other places that I don’t get to see often. And their cheekiness delights me.

However, every once in a while, I wonder if any of my clients, professional colleagues or the journalists that are my Facebook friends look at my pals and wonder what the heck is going on – these people are crazy!!!

And then I wonder if my personal “friends” look at some of the postings from others – usually about PR, communication and social media – and wonder if I have a life outside of work. (I have to admit, I wonder that myself sometimes.)

I have been paddling around online for quite some time (since I was director of communications at Vancouver Film School and the New Media Program was launched in 1990). When Facebook arrived on the scene, I embraced it and jumped right in without much of a strategy about how to manage my personal and professional worlds. On Facebook, to quote George Costanza of Seinfeld fame, my worlds collide.

When we started AHA, we wanted to create a company that was authentic, that represented who we are – and that includes our crew. What we do as communicators creates a special connection with our clients and colleagues. It gets personal – even when it’s business focused. Having said that, even if the only friends I had on Facebook were from my personal life, there is information I just wouldn’t share on there. I think more than separating business from personal, what bears thinking about is how much of your life do you want out there on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere online? There is a point where it is just too much information. Some things are best kept for in-person conversations.

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