To friend or not to friend? Social networking websites such as Facebook were initially designed as a way for individuals to connect with friends and family. Today, these tools are increasingly used for professional purposes, particularly in industries such as public relations and entertainment. But for individuals, online social interaction deserves careful thought before deciding to invite your professional contacts to join your friend list.
Many people attempt to keep their Facebook profiles away from the public eye, or create separate profiles for social and professional purposes. Others have decided their work and personal lives are so tightly linked that they have no reservations about friending colleagues as well as pals.
Just as you might share some details about your social life with a client over lunch, you may decide that connecting with colleagues on Facebook allows you to build closer relationships. Depending on your industry, you may even find that Facebook is a useful way to develop relationships that may lead to new business.
Whatever your decision, it’s important to understand the social networking “rules of the road.” Even if you determine it’s best to keep your personal and business profiles separate, you should know how to handle friend requests gracefully and the actions you can take to protect your privacy. And if you do combine your personal and professional lives, it’s always wise to be thoughtful and considerate when interacting in social communities.
This slideshow highlights tips from Robert Half to help you navigate the social networking landscape.
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