Social Media: To friend or Not to Friend

Who do you friend on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and whatever else you can think of? For Twitter some people auto-follow back.  I do not.  Tumblr, well that's open to the universe so friending really isn't an option.  My biggest concerns are for Facebook and Instagram.  Where do you draw the line?

In my expanding world as a writer, I'm meeting more and more people.  Connecting with them beyond the face to face is key.  That's why I use Twitter.  Over the last few years, I've really gotten to know some of these writers intimately.  Heck, they've stayed at my house!  Those people I have friended on Facebook.  Some of those on Instagram.  But both of those accounts have private photos of my children. I don't feel comfortable friending every person I've ever met at a conference, no matter how safe/normal/non-psychotic they might seem.  It's not a personal offense to NOT friend them, I have my children to protect.

My target audience will be teens.  Most of the kids my 13yo is friends with don't use Facebook and think "it's for old people." (Direct quote from my son.)  Most of his friends live on Instagram. I'm sure eventually I will create an "author page" on Facebook but that's not the same as friending the person. I don't trust Facebook to only share certain information with certain people that I select to be in the "special" friend list. They change their privacy polices more often than underwear. Then what about Instagram?  Should I create separate accounts for both?  (I know writers who do that.)  It's easy to get bogged down trying to manage all the social medias. If I add more I'm afraid I'll quit.  I don't want to close a door to a marketing opportunity either. Is two separate accounts the only answer?

What do you do?  What's been your experience?  What do the authors you love/follow/friend do?
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