I use Facebook primarily to keep in touch with family, old and new friends, and socially with co-workers. So I accept “friend requests” from anybody that I know. I do accept colleagues as my friends as well. I am careful about what I post on Facebook. I never complain about my job on Facebook. I am conservative about any political views I post on Facebook. But I am pretty open about my religious faith on Facebook – I ask for prayer for people I know on a somewhat regular basis, which would not be appropriate on LinkedIn. The groups I join are a mix of professional and “for fun.” Facebook is the one place that I expose who I am as a person. For example, Dewey Decimal Divas is “library related,” but hardly a serious professional group.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, I restrict to professional connections. I do not connect with any family members. I have connected with a few friends who are in industries that might assist in my professional networking – for example a neighbor who teaches in a neighboring school district. However, I used LinkedIn exclusively for professional networking and do not wish to muddy the waters. I also belong to professional groups on LinkedIn, such as IEEE – Technical Committee on Digital Libraries, and ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries).
If professional networking is part of one’s social networking plan, one needs to carefully cultivate appropriate contacts in each social circle.