Crossing the streams between personal & professional

Over the years colleagues have become friends. Sometimes they’re ‘catch up’ friends, ‘pour your heart out’ friends, and sometimes ‘social media’ friends.

It’s been lovely to have an expanding friends list with interesting and varied interests, sharing new ideas and I love that we get to engage more deeply and build multidimensional relationships.

On social media I share different parts of my life. It might be about business, community, or personal. Sometimes it’s political, while sometimes it’s my Friday night wine-induced YouTube playlist of classic 80s and 90s #oleskool.

But in recent years, I’ve noticed an awkwardness in my sharing because of the clients who are on my friends list.

It arises when I have jobs pending but I want to share about my weekend walk or family time. Sometimes I hesitate sharing leisure activities because I know that x might see the post and wonder “well she’s got time to for for a swim, she should have time to answer my email”.

In the pre-social media days, for most of us, business was 9-5. I had no idea what my clients did on their weekend. And they had no idea what I did on mine. I answered the phone and letters during the week.

But now, my clients open Messenger and they know I’m online. And they can tell I’m online as well.

I need to stop feeling like I’m meant to work seven days a week – and stop feeling guilty for working on weekends.

Recently I’ve also experienced a little bit of JIG as a result of some of the work I do. Some of these people I had retained as social media connections. I guess I thought it was just ‘professional’. But something clicked last year (when I nearly died – literally), and last week after a conversation with a friend.

This month I find myself now in a spot where I don’t want to give anything to others who clearly don’t give a fuck about me. I don’t want to entertain them or tell them about my family. I don’t want them to know what makes me laugh or what makes me cranky.

So in some cases (the JIG cases), I’ve disconnected on various platforms, and in other cases I’ve literally blocked them from my personal channels. Everyone can see my professional work, and they can even read this blog post, but for some people my personal (Facebook) posts are well and truly off limits.

I feel almost liberated. Is that weird?