There is no line anymore. Our personal lives and professional lives have moved online and they are evolving, mixing and merging.

Google yourself. Are you happy with what you see? Would your Mom be? Would your boss be? Would your future Great Grandchildren be? Because they all going to see the online you at some point.

You can fight it all you want, but you’re going to leave a digital footprint or at least an echo online. So… you can either choose to ignore it or deal with it on your own terms.

Here’s 5 ways you can…

#1 Don’t

If you are comfortable with your online persona being fully exposes than go for it. There are many benefits to sharing your personality with your online community, just ensure that what you’re sharing doesn’t harm or endanger anyone else.

#2 Use different social media networks for different purposes

I use LinkedIn to connect with people who are used to seeing me in wearing a suit, Facebook for the people who are willing to put up with me bragging incessantly about my kids and Twitter for everything in between.

#3 Go two-faced on Facebook

If you love Facebook, and who doesn’t, then why not create a personal page where you can hang out with your just your friends. You can also create a brand page where you hang out with your customers or fans. Facebook is a great platform for sharing and with the brand page comes a great deal of built in analytics, advertising features and other goodies free of charge.

#4 Create multiple Twitter accounts

Twitter is about conversations and sometimes you need more than one voice. There’s no harm in having a personal account and a professional account or even a special interest account. There’s no need to flood your personal friend’s Twitter feeds with topics that would only be of interest to your work colleagues. It’s not being inauthentic or inappropriate, in fact I think it’s rather polite of you.

#5 Keep your personal life… well… personal

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take full advantage of all of the benefits of social media for your professional life and completely leave your personal life off line. That doesn’t mean you don’t bring your personality to social media as you would to your work, but if you’re not comfortable talking about things around the water cooler than they probably shouldn’t be online… visible to the entire world… and indexed and cached for future generations.

In conclusion

Regardless of whether or not and how you choose to separate your personal and professional life the key is to think about it before it becomes a problem. Take a look online and see yourself as others see you. A sort of virtual can I post this and look at myself in the mirror kinda thing. Make sure you are happy with and can live with what you see. Online and offline.

Any tips I’ve miseed?

I’d love to hear about your thoughts, ideas and strategies!