It’s not news to anyone that social media is everywhere. We’re all on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Foursquare, Gowala…at what point does it all this sharing of our life become too much? How much do we let our personal and business life become intertwined?
This is an especially poignant question for freelancers who do business under their own name. How far do you let business relationships join with your personal life? Do you want clients to see the latest pictures of your children? Do you want them to know how much we visit coffee shops to work?
For me this came up recently when a client wanted to know if I was on Facebook. If you’ve seen any of my tweets you’ll know that while I have a Facebook account I’m not really a fan of the service (and we’re not even talking about their privacy crap yet). It took a few tries to communicate with the client that while I was on Facebook it was not a place that I did business, so even if they did friend me I would not approve the request.
I know that many businesses have had great success getting work from Facebook but I’ve decided to draw a line on business joining my personal life and Facebook is off limits. I don’t have a business Facebook page and I won’t approve your ‘friendship’ with me if we strictly do business together. I honestly don’t really care if you’re upset about it. I don’t even approve all of my college/highschool/gradeschool friends and we were truly friends at one point. While it ‘s sorta neat to see where they are and what they’re doing we don’t hang out, I haven’t seen them in years, we’re not really friends now.
I think that everything has to have boundaries, places that aren’t open for everyone to see. If we let business in to every spot in our life then there is no place we can go an unwind, no place that is truly personal. That’s why I turn my phone off at night and why not everyone gets to tread on my Facebook profile, it’s reserved for friends, people I interact with on a regular basis that mean something to me on a personal level.
So yeah if we do some business together and we’re friends on Facebook you should feel lucky, you’re in a select group of people that I’ve let cross that boundary.