Friday, October 12, 2007

Facebook and Blended Lives

Dean Bubley, a blogger and technologist, just posted a blog about how he is trying to keep his life neatly divided between work and personal. He is even trying to keep his cyber life divided between Facebook (for personal) and Linked-In (for business).

Here is what I posted in his comment section:


Your blog really shows your age. Facebook "is not your father's Oldsmobile". Linked-In is. I am on both sites, just as you are, but I notice a distinct division between the two sites that I think you are missing. I am 44 years old and fit in perfectly with the Linked-In demographic. On Facebook, I feel like I'm a dusty relic from some forgotten shelf in a museum. So why am I on Facebook? Because Linked-In is destined to travel down the same road as Oldsmobile. Why should a nationwide community of friends and neighbors (in a cyber sense) all get up and move to a different site for their professional contacts when their peers are already linked on the Facebook site? O.K., one reason would be to get away from the embarising posts and photos from that one weekend (or maybe several) they had freshman year. Yet, as the population of Facebook continues to mature, so will the culture of the site. Think of Facebook as one of Clayton Christensen's disruptive forces on the internet.

Another change the next generation is bringing into the business world is the idea of a blended life instead of a balanced one. If you can flip a switch at 5:00 pm and turn off your business life, then turn it on again at 8:00 am the next day, you are more disiplined and more deprived than I am, and many of my more successful peers. I know people who have never missed their kid's sporting events, even if they took place at 3:00 pm on a weekday. I cut out of work at 2:00 pm one day a week for 10 years to coach at my local high school. If we tried to keep our personal lives and business lives tucked neatly into their respective boxes, we would have missed those times. Likewise, I have met you at conferences in the states. I doubt you have restricted your flights across the pond to the 8 hour workday window. That means that you are already carving out time from your personal life to meet your career goals. So, you see, you are already starting to blend.

Lastly, isn't one of the staples of our industry convergence? Not just of technologies, but of the ability to communicate when and where we need to with whomever we want to.Dean, the world is blending, and you are a major contributer to the cause (that is a compliment whether you like it or not). You may find the old ways more balanced and comfortable, but I think it is time to see that convergence is happening all around us, and the next generation is going to continue the trend of using our technologies to take control of their blended lives.

No comments: