“Think very hard about who you want to be”

Social media has evaporated any remaining boundaries between professional and personal life, and you should get use to it – says Gary Vaynerchuk, wine connoisseur and social media extraordinaire.

This assertion seemingly dismisses the concerns about the issue of blurred boundaries and the professionalization of personal (via technology devices) that I highlighted in my thesis about the BlackBerry.

Is the work person and play person really the same thing?

What is the advantage for the ‘personal’ in having your work life integrated seamlessly into your private life?

Does this make us more or less secure in our employment? More or less connected to our work? More or less valuable?

Might the assumption that you are your own brand which is always on — observerable and accessible to all people all the time — be an attitude particular to creative professionals with jobs that more closely reflect their personal interests than say tool and die welding?

While I realized that personal relationships, cultivated on “off-time”, have always driven business relationships, and that social networks simply serve to increase the reach and value of these conversation; I still can’t shake the possibly dated concern that the loss of these walls, the that could hide the bad guys, also means the loss of a wall that provides a shade for the good guys in the glaringly transparent and connected world of social media and networks.

Does online work/life integration result in a more sanitized existence for those aware of the online brand they’re creating, or does it just require a higher degree of vigilance in maintaining an online identity?

Does blandness prevail in the name of SFW identities?

What does it mean to be talking about brand management in our personal life? It’s a business term usually used to refer to a company’s image.

Lots of questions.

One thing that’s for sure, the boundaries between work and private life will continue to become increasingly blurred as constant connectivity moves beyond 24/7 email access to integrated social networks.

Despite not generally considering myself a bad guy, I not entirely sure I’m ready to throw back the shades on all areas of my life to all people. This negotiation has been ongoing for quite some time and will continue for the foreseeable future as expectation of access and transparency shift.

In the meanwhile, I’m balancing the integration of work-related contacts into my previously personal-only social network, and it’s working out famously. Notifications from this integrated network about upcoming local events (for fun and work), connect me more closely to my physical community.

Maybe it all comes down to the old maxim that you get out what you put in.


One response to ““Think very hard about who you want to be”

  1. Thanks for the balanced article. When I first started in PR I wrote under pseudonyms and took precautions to keep my personal life private. In the last 3 years I’ve started letting my freak flag fly and I’m much happier.

    Business schools always tell us that the best brands – whether organizational or personal – are authentic. This is probably totally naive, but from a professional standpoint, I honestly can’t think of a better job than being paid to be who you are.

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