Personal vs. Professional Online Identities

Lifehacker recently covered the issue of whether to keep your personal and professional identities separate online.  Oh boy. I was glad to see this post, because I think about it all the time. Alan Henry outlines the pros and cons of doing things either way and makes the case for using different networks for different aspects of your identity. According to Henry, no one identity should fit all.

We know we didn’t say “yes, you should keep them separate” as much as we said “no, you shouldn’t use one identity for everything,” but that’s because it’s more important for your sanity and for your work-life boundaries for you to keep some distance between your professional portfolios and your personal activities on the web.

In reading the post’s comments, I was reassured that I’m not the only one who feels an internal struggle over this issue. I’m on Twitter (one account that I use for a mix of personal and professional, and another account for a personal blog of mine) and LinkedIn (again, a mix of both personal and professional contacts). I’ve managed to keep Facebook out of the equation by never having joined, and while I am on Google+, I have significant crossover between my Twitter contacts and those in my circles, so it’s often a bit redundant.

Do you keep your personal and professional identities separate online? I’d love to hear how you approach this issue!

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