I went to Costa Rica last weekend for a friends wedding and upon my return logged into Facebook and uploaded some photos from the trip. While online, I noticed a friend request from a co-worker. Do I invite this colleague onto my social networking playground? Many of you have had similar requests from professional contacts to join your social network.
Similar to work-life balance I have a networking-social balance. I primarily participate in three social networking sites: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I use LinkedIn for business networking purposes and Facebook for most of my personal/social interaction. I only Twitter things that would be appropriate for both audiences. I personally like to keep my two worlds separate, but realize that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to play in separate playgrounds.
While my trip to Costa Rica was for a friends wedding and not a scene from a college spring break, I have to wonder if I would really want my co-workers to see photos of me dancing the night away, or sitting poolside with an umbrella drink.
As you are navigating your own social networking playground, pay attention to what equipment you play on and who you ask to play in your sandbox.
It’s a delicate balance on the seesaw and I find it best that I establish boundaries between the two social networking sites. Typically, when a professional contact requests to be my in my network on Facebook, I immediately go to LinkedIn and send a connection request to them letting them know that my professional networking site of choice is LinkedIn and that I use Facebook for close friends and family. This seems to have worked well for me.
We all know employers and recruiters use the Internet and social networking sites to find information on potential candidates. And not enough people remember that photos, comments on many social networking sites and blogs can last forever.