Why I Don’t Separate Personal from Professional on Social Media

by Bill Brenner on June 2, 2015

In the world of social media, I’ve seen a lot of folks try to keep their work and personal lives separate. For business, people use LinkedIn. Facebook is for friends and family. But I never even tried to do this. Here’s why.

Mood music:

I used to think it was possible for me to put on different faces for different crowds. I could have my family face, reserved for when I was at home or at family gatherings. Then, when it was time to go to work, I could put on my work face. For friends I could put on my friend face.

For a while, I managed to carry on that way. I had my reserved side for family. I’d exchange pleasantries but wouldn’t open up much. For work I showed my serious side, the cool demeanor that hid all the insecurities. For friends I showed my crazy side, with a mouth full of profanity and dark humor.

As I started working on myself a little over a decade ago, coming to grips with my demons, fears and self-destructive behavior, I realized I couldn’t hold all those pieces together anymore. It started to feel like juggling, and I’ve never been good at juggling.

The more it became a struggle, the harder I tried to make it work. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I let the different sides of myself melt into one pot.

The crazy, profane, serious, quirky parts of me were now there for all to see — at home, at work and in front of friends.

That was a moment of freedom for me. By pulling my various personalities out of their individual boxes, I became whole.

When social networking came along, I didn’t even try to keep things separate for different audiences. I realized I couldn’t do it in the real world, so how could I do it online? Whether it’s at an industry gathering, a party with friends or family or swapping comments with folks online, I let it all hang out.

I’m more honest — and happier — that way.

“Flower of My Madness,” by EddieTheYeti

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