Lauren Lapkus and Lauren Ashley Smith run this awesome site called Fix My Facebook where they address Facebook dilemmas. I thought this was pretty brilliant, so I decided to slide them one of my more Facebooky questions, and they slid me one of their more Gynomitey questions. Kinda like Freaky Friday, but instead with blogs.
I work in radio, and while I’m not really “big” enough for a work profile, a few listeners have added my personal profile. No big whoop, so I thought, it’s not like I have anything to hide. Just might have to cut back on the expletives.
Unfortunately, there’s one listener who is way too talkative on my status updates (and way too political for my tastes). It’s gotten to the point where my friends are starting to bait him into getting into arguments. Last night, I acknowledged an on-air screw-up I made, and when some friends started joshin’ me, he comes in like he’s riding on a white horse to protect me! I had to tell him to back off.
I don’t want to block the guy; he’s a hardcore listener. But I’m honestly afraid he’s gonna piss someone off.
Ahh, the wonders of a modern social networking age. It’s true; it’s quite flattering for people who seek out your personal profile based on your work, and inherently there’s nothing wrong with that. They want to know who you are, not because they’re going to stalk you.
But with all this social networking, we’re forgetting more and more the importance of boundaries. Anyone who has worked with me in person knows how vehement I am about strong work life/personal life boundaries. Not because of danger, or inappropriateness, or anything else, but because your brain needs a break from work, even if work is fun and creative and makes you a fulfilled creature. It may seem like a small thing to address a fan on your Facebook profile, but these small things slowly add up and can consume your non-work hours. There always needs to be a strong line between “work you” and “nonwork you”.
Case in point: this guy doesn’t know you, but he thinks he does, so he feels like it’s perfectly natural for him to throw in on your facebook conversations. He probably thinks the other people commenting on your page are your fans as well.
I know you say that you’re not big enough for a work page, but this is exactly why you are! Start a fan page for yourself, or have a good friend start one for you, and advertise it on the radio. Then send personal messages to this guy as well as any other people who are fans of yours and invite them personally to join your fan page. Make them feel special, and really sell how much more badass your fan page will be than your personal one… and then block them on your personal page. If people question and you don’t feel like being truthful, blame your boss.
If this guy continues to be weirdly familiar with you, I would block him on Facebook everywhere and let him know that you find his behavior a bit too intense. Keep the focus on you, so it’s not “You’re creepy” but rather “I am not used to having fans and feel a little uncomfortable with it”, and keep records of all your interactions. But I don’t think it’ll come to that.
Enjoy your celebredom, and remember to only address your fan page during work hours. Good luck!