The Facebook Paradox

October 11, 2007

Back a few months ago, my friend introduced me to and invited me (and about 2,000 others) to create professional profiles on the much-hyped social networking site.  Always appreciating something new - I jumped right in with great expectations.  You see, I too had gone through the Linked-In process of creating a profile (read resume) on , inviting all of my real connections and getting a few references only to be barraged by head hunters and past co-workers looking for jobs.  Linked-In was not what I was looking for and thus my hopes for Facebook were pretty high.

Getting started with Facebook was great, but it seemed a little out of touch for a 45 year old adult.  What were my favorite bands seemed more important than my professional credentials of past positions and educational experiences.  Oh well - forge ahead.

One of the first people I "friended" was Jeff Pulver along with some other friends of his that I knew well and interacted with periodically.  It seemed I had a good start on connecting my professional network on Facebook and we were able to share thoughts and observations about our industry and the work we were undertaking.

Then I ran into my 18 year old son, who too had a Facebook profile.  So I friended him...and all his friends.  You see they are over at my house virtually every weekend anyhow, so we are "friends".  Not adult-to-adult friends, but instead the relationship is more of a parent-to-teenager kind of friendship.   They come to us with their successes and hopes and occasional problems - but adult-friends are not the same as teenager-friends.  It's been great because I can see what social events the kids have planned and can connect the faces with names as they scurry through the house.  I've even been able to put the kibosh on a couple unauthorized social events that were planned at my house. 

But not all is perfect in the land of Facebook.  You see, because the way Facebook works, now my professional friends can see all of my son's friends - not something I had really planned on.  They are all pretty good kids, but do I really want my co-workers to see them?

In hind-site - I wish I had just kept a separation between my work world and my personal world.  I know the lines blur all the time, but life was a whole lot easier when I was able to keep them apart.

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Comments to The Facebook Paradox

  1. Dogsbody :

    I believe Facebook are soon to be adding the ability to group your friends into groups and I imagine then set your privacy settings based on those groups which should help out in this situation.

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