Are the walls between our personal and professional lives crumbling?

Blur When I was growing up, my dad set the standard for how a business person behaved.  He went to work every day, did his thing and came home.  He would, on occasion, bring some work (read — paper) home with him.  I’m sure my dad made friends at the office but I didn’t know or hear about them.

My parents socialized (bridge, cocktail parties, etc.) with the neighbor couples.

They’d occasionally have to go to a dinner or host some work people at our house.  But those were rare occasions. For the most part, his two worlds were pretty separate. 

Today, I look at my two worlds (work and personal) and the line is awfully blurry.  Sometimes I wonder if that’s a good thing. Just in the last couple of weeks…

  • I’ve twittered (to my professional network) about my daughter’s incredible performance in her one act play
  • I read on Facebook that one of my employees didn’t crawl out of bed until 4:30 pm
  • I’ve posted family photos on my Flickr account
  • I’ve gotten a ticket (the game Parking Wars) on Facebook from a Microsoft exec
  • My marketing/branding blog has promoted a purely social event in NYC
  • I’ve had lunch with a client and we mostly talked about our kids
  • I sent a condolence message to a marketing colleague when I read her Twitter that she’d lost their family pet
  • In rapid succession, I joined a branding group and our church’s group on Facebook
  • A blog reader sent me a link to view his video chronicles of his personal journey with weight loss
  • I have pet work colleague’s (fluff) friends on Facebook (not as bad as it sounds)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Are you experiencing the same thing?  Online or offline, are your lines getting equally blurred?

What do you think about this phenomenon?  Do you think this merging of our lives has something to do with the fact that the old work day of 9-5 is also a thing of the past?

What’s the upside?  Downside?