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My work life and my personal life has huge differences. People I know here seem to be much more calm and both in personality and in their hobbies.

Don't get me wrong: I can talk about non-work related things with them - like soccer and such. The thing is that I'm not really interested in it, and my main hobbies (game development, anime, etc) are less of interesting topics for them.

I also love to be less serious, especially on social media, which may make even my Facebook profile look funny - or even ridiculous? I don't know, but definitely this is the way I love to be, and I'm not sure if colleagues would appreciate it.

My question is that if I and my collegaues get to know each other better, then is it possible that they noticing my rather strange behaviour causes issues and flaws? I think of their opinion on me - which I shouldn't care about, and usually I don't, but in a workplace, it seems to be more important, especially relationship with my boss, for instance.

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    Your post lacks an actual practical question. Yes, your personal life can affect how you're perceived at work, which is why most people erect boundaries to keep their work life and private life separate. I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for here. – Lilienthal Jun 23 '16 at 9:24
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    You watch Anime? How shocking. How do you show your face in polite society, sir? Also, as an Anime lover, I'm a bit offended at this. To answer your question: No one cares about your personal life, as long as keep it private. – Shantnu Tiwari Jun 23 '16 at 10:00
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    So you like to game and watch Anime. Why are you characterizing that as strange behavior and unprofessional? It is almost like you want to view yourself as and outcast. – paparazzo Jun 23 '16 at 12:39
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    @ZoltánSchmidt wooh, this isn't unprofessional whatsoever in the software world. Imagine being a trump supporter. Thats pretty dangerous in California for your professional prospects as well as physical well being. – hownowbrowncow Jun 23 '16 at 14:23
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    We're all weirdos, dependant on who is viewing us. – Kilisi Jun 23 '16 at 14:30
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No matter how you try and distance your private life from your professional life, these days everything is connected so you must assume that anything you post on a personal page such as Facebook may be seen at work. Especially if you have colleagues as friends.

So then you need to look at what is expected of you professionally at work. Here's a brief example, for discussion purposes only:

  • Would a colleague have a problem with knowing you support a football team that has just beaten their team? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Would they have a problem knowing you gloat about it on Facebook for a week - that might annoy someone, but probably not more than that.
  • Would they have a problem if you had pictures from the middle of a fight with opposing supporters? That would almost certainly be an issue.

So...yes, it can be an issue. But it all depends on what you do outside of work. You need to assess whether or not you are too unprofessional - and if so what you will do about it.

  • Will you change your behaviour to do less unprofessional things?
  • Will you just not post them online?
  • Will you change jobs?

If you have some behaviours that you think will be a challenge you may be able to speak about them with your boss.

I had a role some years back with an organisation that would be seen as very professional in business dealings, so before I took the job I pointed out that I also played lead guitar in a heavy rock band - so they could work out whether that would cause them any embarrassment with their clients. It was fine, and some clients loved it, but getting clarity early on helped position it.

At the end of the day, it is your personal life, but perceptions are very strong things, so if you are concerned, do something now. Sure, anything online already will always be there, but you can show how you have not been unprofessional during your tenure there.

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A good idea is to have a separate "work" profile and your normal profile. You friend people at work on your work profile and make sure you keep your normal profile private to just friends that you know/trust.

However, based on what you said it doesn't sound like a issue. Gaming and cartoons are fairly common hobbies with a computer-savvy person. Though it's unclear what is offensive these days. It's best to go with your guts on this and simply not share what you think may be viewed negatively. You know your environment better than others.

Edit: Anyone using social network should know that what they post/share can have negative consequences. As such it is always wise to consider who and what you are sharing. Exercise common sense. Ex: You wouldn't share a hot new anime movie about zombie slaying with the CEO of the company who you never met. Not only that you wouldn't want to "like" a political movement that may be in disagreement with people at work. With a separate profile, you can control what you share while keeping your opinions.

  • A new profile is a good idea, I'm trying to build up a new virtual life anyway. – Zoltán Schmidt Jun 23 '16 at 14:36
  • While this is generally a good answer (and I have upvoted it), I'd strongly suggest you don't rely on separate profiles actually being separate. You'd hope an organisation won't put much effort into linking them, but the effort is getting less and less... – Rory Alsop Jun 23 '16 at 15:02
  • @RoryAlsop I was thinking on it, and I also realized that strongly separating them is impossible. This way, it seems to lose its point to make another profile, but I'm trying it anyway. – Zoltán Schmidt Jun 24 '16 at 7:54
  • Zoltan - have a read of this and similar: security.stackexchange.com/questions/47293/… – Rory Alsop Jun 24 '16 at 8:50
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Ben Franklin once wrote "Do not do what you would not have known". In this day and age with social media and the most innocuous posts going viral for little or no reason, you need to be careful.

For that reason, I never insult people on SM or post anything risqué. You must assume that the worst thing you do or post online will be seen by people who would use it against you.

That said, we are all flawed, and while your likes and dislikes may differ, most people don't really care. You are never going to be a topic of conversation at anyone's dinner table unless you do something very outlandish.

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You've kind of got two questions you want answers for here:

Is it okay for me to have a goofy social media presence?

With the exclusion of professional sites like Linkedin, I would say yes, it's fine to be goofy on social media. You're not doing anything illegal or against company policy, so why would they care?

Will people look down on me for talking about geeky hobbies?

You're not the only person in the world (or, most likely, in your company) that likes anime and video games. But even if you can't find someone with the exact same interests as you, I've found that most friends will show polite interest in anything as long as you can make it interesting to them. ("Oh man, I was playing Dark Souls last night and was close to beating one of the bosses- and then I fell off a cliff!" is a lot better than "How 'bout them video games?") If you really just want to shoot the breeze about the newest releases, though, you'll have to search for people whose interests are more similar to yours.

  • Is Linkedin still used at all? I thought it's a once famous, but today barely used social media site. Also, your example with Dark Souls is great, I usually try to do the same thing, but so far whenever I tried to do it, people were ignorant about me. – Zoltán Schmidt Jun 24 '16 at 7:50

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