"I stay in touch with people on Facebook," says Derfler, 30, who met his fiancee on Match.com. But on other platforms - his LinkedIn account and his personal website - Derfler has no qualms about commingling his diverse interests.
In a bygone era, a professional could take part in an unrelated hobby - the lawyer moonlighting as a rock star - and easily keep the smoke-filled pub scene divorced from the courtroom. But with the pervasiveness of social media today, we probably need to establish paradigms of how our versatile selves are perceived within our social network.
Steven L. Johnson at Temple University Fox School of Business, says sometimes the online blending of a person's main job and any after-hours interest might work - in Derfler's case, for instance, - but it's probably best to keep a firewall between them.
"It can get tricky," says Johnson, who teaches social media innovation. "We want to be around people that are well-rounded, but if our surgeon is regularly tweeting and posting pictures of himself skiing, you might start to wonder how good he is at surgery."
Pamela Hetherington, 30, began tap-dance training when she was 3. She stages tap jams around town, and she is cofounder of an all-female pickup company, Lady Hoofers Society, which sold out two shows during the Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe 2011.
"I do it for love, not for money," the dancer says.
But in the 9-to-5 weekday world, she is an editor at a medical publishing company. "I have a very demanding day job," says Hetherington, who has a master's degree in English. "In work, I'm focused . . . but away from editing, dance is swirling in my head."
To cover both interests, the Philadelphia native also employs a mix of social media tools, using some to grow her artistic pursuits, while others connect her with like-minded editing professionals.
Hetherington and her dance colleague chronicled their Philly Fringe experience in a blog, garnering 15,000 hits. "And through Facebook, I'm connected with people in Finland, Greece, and London, who have a passion for tap. They can't come to a show, but they can spread the word."
She sticks to her work e-mail and LinkedIn for her editorial career, where she makes no mention of her tap dancing. "I keep it separate, even though everyone knows I dance," says Hetherington, who is married and has two daughters.
That division is smart, according to Matthew Ray, copartner of Center City-based ChatterBlast Media, an organization that helps Internet-connected users develop social media strategies. Ray says it can be exhausting, but he agrees that it's better to maintain two types of brands.
"I tell people they need to know how they want to be portrayed, because whatever you post is going out there," Ray says. "Messaging snarky comments and posting pictures of yourself on Facebook in your socks may not help a law career."
According to Ray, different social platforms amplify different needs. Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail blasts are tools used primarily for more casual hobbies and interests, while LinkedIn is for marketing serious professions.
And it's not just the millennial generation - those born after 1980 - posting and tweeting. Mary Madden, a researcher at the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project in Washington, says daily social media usage among boomers ages 50 to 64 grew from 20 percent in April 2010 to 32 percent in May 2011.
For two decades, Anndee Byers, founder of Premier Consultants in Cinnaminson, N.J., has been coaching employees of corporations such as MedAvante and Bristol-Myers Squibb. After the 9/11 attacks, Byers saw clients slash expenses - and her income, too.
"Business just fell off the cliff," says the 60-something business owner.
During the downsizings, Byers traded her corporate hat for a Colonial cap and became a docent in Philadelphia's historic area. Although her consulting business has rebounded, Byers has opted to keep up the tour-guiding, "a little for the money, a lot for the fun." She recently launched Hooking, Hoofing & History, a twice-a-year, three-day jaunt for rug-hooking enthusiasts that combines a sweep of history in the Philadelphia area.
Byers separates her work and her hobby by running two unrelated dot-com domains. She uses her LinkedIn profile primarily for her consulting firm.
"I believe you should dedicate 25 percent of your time to marketing yourself," says Byers. "Networking is as important now as it ever was. We just have more ways to do it."