With my blog and Twitter, I’ve opened up my private business more so than most. It’s certainly benefitted me in many ways, but one detriment is a loss of privacy. It’s not that big of a deal, but I probably share more than I would normally share with people I don’t know and have never met.
I’ve said it a couple times, but I like to keep my Facebook page private, and I generally only connect with personal friends and business contacts I know pretty well. I receive quite a few Facebook friend requests, but I prefer to only accept requests from people I really know. There’s often a grey area because some people are more casual acquaintances and I know some people better than others.
That said, you should really be cautious when accepting friend requests. People may judge you by people with whom you are friends, and if they are acquainted primarily via Facebook, you may not actually know them well. In a small industry like this one, it’s quite possible to be Facebook friends with people you may have only heard about but don’t actually know.
I’ve seen instances when this is an issue. I know a couple people who befriended industry colleagues on Facebook and later found out they weren’t exactly on the up and up. In a business where reputation is everything, you should be cautious about “friending” people you don’t know all that well.