Ever since I joined Facebook just a few months back I have been in a constant dilemma about friend requests from colleagues, business partners and other people that I work with or have worked with. The reason it took me so long to join Facebook to begin with was that I knew that I eventually had to decide on how to treat this, for me, new social network. Joining Facebook didn't make it easier for me - quite the opposite. I now have a long list of friend requests from people that I work with or may get to work with at some point. I want and need to deal with these in some fashion.
The way I have chosen to deal with these friend requests is to disregard any friend request on Facebook from people that I work with or might, no matter how slim the possibility, get to work it. I don't do this to be mean or anything. I simply want a social network where I can share information with my wife, family and "real" friends. Not that I don't consider many of the people I work with friends - they're just in that other category of friends. I would like to have a place where I can post comments and pictures where those not in the know, or with other points of view, might get the wrong idea. I would like a place where I can be myself.
Making this decision about Facebook also made me look more carefully into LinkedIn. It means that I will now use Linkedin for all those business connections. Much as I have in the past. I will of course also continue to use the various Lotus Conenctions sites available out these as well. So if you want to hook up with me with catch me on LinkedIn.
I would love to hear how you have decided to deal with the proliferation of social networks and where you draw the line between your personal and professional life.