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Social networking is the one of the best, and effective direct way of communicating of modern times; but drawing the line between your professional and personal connections in this space, is the new question.

When I joined the social media, it was fun. Everyone was a friend (in this site), my boss, my colleague, a guy with whom I shared car lifts, the lady at the bank. But slowly it was disturbing; people knew everything about me. And I was being expected to be politically right (every time!). I have some clients on my friends list and I feel burdened carrying the image of my company in this virtual space. I am scared to post a comment, to express my views or just be myself, says Anasuya B, a marketing executive.

In the last decade, social networking took the Middle East market by storm; for both professional as well as personal purposes. Being connected was the new mantra for people and business enterprises; but social media began changing the human fabric of networking when business contacts started getting mixed with personal ones.

Facebook was great; until my clients and brokers started sending me friends request, says Manisha E (name changed), an insurance professional in the capital. I didnt know if it was appropriate to decline the invite, but didnt want to accept either. It is a dilemma!

Like Manisha, many have the same concern; How do your draw the line between your personal and professional life (in social media)? The social network scene, for many, is becoming complicated with friends, family, acquaintances, professional contacts and celebrities; all sharing the same space.

I keep a balance; friends and family on Facebook, and MySpace while anybody from work goes to LinkedIn; but then again some find you and sends you that invite on Facebook, comments Manisha. But I have seen some of my friends maintain two accounts, one personal and the other with their name and the companys.

I do that, says Ms.X (who wishes to remain undisclosed), working with a publishing house. I have two accounts (on Facebook), one is mine and me only and the other is used to keep in touch with my fans, readers, associates, and colleagues. It is a bit of a hassle to maintain two accounts, but then I prefer that instead of the mix up.

This is important to me because, a friend of mine might post something nonchalantly which can offend a professional contact; and maybe they begin to look at me differently. With such possible complications, I am happy with the setup I have created for myself. It is more professional, she adds.

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