Worlds colliding – the social media version

Posted on March 17, 2010

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My worlds are colliding…sound familiar? Facebook was originally intended to connect class mates. Suddenly it grew. Connections expanded beyond school to friends, family, coworkers, former coworkers, and even acquaintances. As in the case of George on Seinfeld (see video), is it all blowing up?

As relationships have moved into social media, I often hear people struggle with the following questions:

  • Will a LinkedIn connection who reaches out to me on facebook feel hurt if I do not accept an invitation on another social media site?
  • Do I want to be connected with current or past coworkers on facebook?
  • Do I want my boss or client to see me on twitter or facebook?
  • A past boyfriend/girlfriend reached out to be connected, should I? <To steal a line from the beloved Astro on the Jetsons, “Rutroh.”>

Many questions arise as these worlds collide. As the video shows, one world is your sanctuary and if that world comes in contact with another world…well it can blow up because worlds collide! 

So, what does one do? Well, it becomes different for different people. One solution within facebook is to use a feature that few leverage that allows one to segment their friends into categories with varying viewing capabilities. Too much work? Not where you want to go?

Another solution might be to apply different social media sites to different relationships. In the information technology world, we use the term applications because we apply a solution created for a certain purpose.

Yet, another solution might be to not care and allow the worlds to collide.

Interestingly, there are companies I work with that unify one’s social media contacts. Such a service is used mostly in a business-to-business setting due to mass marketing requirements.

At the end of the day, there is no single magic bullet or right or wrong answer. It comes down to you as an individual and how you manage relationships.

Perhaps one of the more fascinating aspects of the Seinfeld video is that the episode aired before there was a facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

So, what really has changed?

  

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Posted in: social media