Facebook users show two faces to the world
Why some people create separate pages for their personal and professional lives
Call it a self-induced, modern-day schizophrenia, but people are starting to split their personalities between separate Facebook pages in the latest movement to live online without having your entire life there.
So, if you’re friends with Judy Stewart, you might be friends with Judy Stewart. On the other hand, you might not.
“It’s not that I have anything to hide on either site, but there are two different worlds I live in,” says Stewart, director of state government relations for the American Cancer Society in Lansing, Mich. “Pictures of me and a friend at the bar might not be appropriate for my professional contacts to see. Plus, the number of friends I was attaining was getting fairly high and I felt I wasn’t able to keep track of people as well.”
Stewart recently un-friended a number of people, sending them a courtesy note that read: “In an effort to better maintain relationships with my professional contacts, I have started a new Facebook page. So, I will soon ‘disappear’ from your friend list but I hope that you will accept the friend request for my new page. See you soon!”
She says a couple of people asked her why she was making the change, but for the most part people just seemed to accept it.
Reputation management becomes increasingly challenging in the modern world of online publishing and social media. We’re making it so. The old rule of thumb still applies. Never say anything before the press that you’re not 100% comfortable seeing in print. The problem now is that the world is watching, whether we like it or not. In fact, we’ve invited them to.
We must, as businesses and as professionals, be extremely careful with respect to the face we are showing to the world. The smart of us will be careful what we say, and about whom, and about the image we project online. When you jump into the brave new world, you’re asking people to notice you. They will, for better or for worse.
There is no privacy anymore. We’ve chosen it to be so. Somewhere, George Orwell is grinning.