This morning, I got into office to see a mail from a colleague, marked to almost everyone in the office, informing us that she had deleted us from her Facebook account. Her reason was straightforward and simple: she wants to delink her personal and professional lives.
With the onslaught of social media/social networking/whatever you choose to call it, these lines have got increasingly blurred in the past few years. Everyone's blogging, tweeting, uploading photos on Facebook, adding connections on LinkedIn, to the point where virtual friends have begun taking precedence over real-life friends, and there really is no boundary between the personal and professional spaces.
I so far haven't really gone one way or the other. I have colleagues on my Facebook list, but there are those who get to see stuff and those who are on Limited profile. My blogs are listed on LinkedIn, but twitter isn't linked, and I'm contemplating removing the blogs too. In fact, my other blog, which was started essentially to crib about my job, never really took off, because paranoia about clients coming across the damn thing stopped me from putting almost anything I wanted to.
Even when I started this blog, or joined twitter for that matter, the original intention was to keep my real name completely out of it. Since almost all my readers in the initial stages (and even now, for that matter) were people who knew me in the real world, however, their addressing me by my name in the comments pretty much gave it away.
I know people who are very comfortable with having no distinction between their personal and professional lives, and in fact use one to further the other. Which I have no issues with; it's just I would never be completely comfortable doing that.
And my respect for my colleague has gone up tremendously for having it in her to tell us outright how she feels about it and that she intends to remove us from her list.