I recently wrote about the irritation in maintaining various Internet profiles. All these accounts that we create on all these Web services…each with a unique user profile that is a royal pain to maintain. I went through and cleaned up most of my profiles after a recent promotion. Since then, I went through to make a final edit and noticed just how many are tying themselves to Facebook for authentication. Really, Facebook.
Look at how many Web services we use daily that can be authenticated against a Facebook account. Facebook is quickly coming the de facto real ID. This is a mixed blessing. It drastically simplifies profile management and maintaining multiple passwords, but it does mean that it is more challenging to separate a personal Internet identity from a professional Internet identity.
I do believe that is completely reasonable to have a professional and personal Internet identity. I never advocate having anything online that you would not feel comfortable having your boss look at, but I also understand that my weekend photos from San Francisco that my family might be interested in are not relevant to my professional identity.
So here we stand with two distinct Internet identities that are quickly becoming unified. For better or for worse we must accept this fact and deal with it the best that we can. What is this mean? Simply, we pulled back a little on the personal side for the sake of the professional side. A little sad, but I do not see any alternative. Do you?