The professional vs personal life facebook struggle

Professionalism has smacked me in the face this week.

I guess I had this idealistic thought that I could be my crazy, goofy, awkward self in all aspects of my life.  My privacy settings on facebook are based on a creepy stalker history and not on deterring future employers.  They should appreciate me for me...right?

But will the rest of the world?  Facebook puts a person on display, and regardless of how I think of it, I am representing my company, and my profession.  Recently I was interviewed on television for work.  So I posted the link with a joke about my outfit...and then realized that it showed up on my work's page as well as my personal page.  And I struggled.  The joke was innocent, had nothing to do with work, but I felt like overall it would take away from the important message of the interview for those who viewed it.  

So I changed my post.

The funny joke I wanted to share with my friends was deleted and instead I was a professional representing my company and sharing a message.

And I changed my privacy settings.

In an effort to be more personable at work and to feel less isolated, I finally added coworkers as friends.  Which led to volunteers requesting me.  And suddenly my "friend" life and my "doctor" life became irrevocably entwined.  

Why should this be a problem?  Can I still be a respected professional when people see me in a spider costume?  Drinking beer?  Making ridiculous jokes?  Sharing inappropriate memes?

Now the struggle- do I have to change my settings?  Create another page?   Delete it altogether?

Years ago I made the adult decision not to have a separate family and friend facebook.  I want my parents and in-laws to know who I am.  I feel that part of being an adult is knowing who you are and being that person.  My parents respect me and treat me as an adult.  Clearly I don't post anything too ridiculous. I don't do share anything ridiculous.  But I am who I am, and that person is not always professional and doesn't always want to be.

What do real adults do?


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