I’m Not a Loner and I’m Not a Grouch, But

I have a serious mini-crush with Facebook right now. However, I don’t want to be everybody’s Friend in Facebook. There are relationships I want to maintain, family that’s easier to catch up with online than at a reunion, or old friends I want to reconnect with.

LinkedIn is one of the most helpful networking tools online. But I may not want to Connect to you on LinkedIn. Relationships are part of my business, almost like currency. I’m careful what relationships I share with others and I’m equally careful to protect them from random queries from third-tier contacts of mine.

It’s all got to stop at some point. Be realistic!

The online world has done wonders for flattening our world. I love it for that. But it’s opened up the door for relationships to bleed far too easily from one partition of our lives into another. People whom I barely knew at one point in my life can make completely inappropriate comments on Facebook, catching me off guard and forcing me to “edit” my own life online. Personal relationships connected on LinkedIn can have unforeseen impacts on business relationships.

There’s always a lot of buzz about monitoring your online presence, self-Googling and all of that. Here’s what I propose, a two-tier system for living online:

  1. Just Say No. Know when to say no and whom you should say no to.
  2. Use the Separation Principle. Keep work work, and personal personal. You can work certainly work with friends, but a vast majority of the time, business relationships are not personal relationships. Joe Client should never be able to see photos or read about your wild drunken escapades last Saturday night. Need I say that this is totally unprofessional?

But please keep sending me your links and requests – I’ll let you know if I’d rather reconnect in a different way than you’re suggesting!

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