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Separating Work and Cyberspace: Should You?

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I was asked an interesting question today – whether or not we should allow our bosses to become Facebook friends, and if we should feel obligated if they ask.  I did a little pondering…

We’ve all heard stories of bosses not appreciating things said by employees in various social networks. We also know future employers and clients will most likely Google us before hiring. With that in mind, I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with allowing my employer to view my conversations with friends and family. It’s not that I have something to hide, it’s that I feel I should keep my professional life professional. It’s like inviting your boss to family picnics or to your husband’s surprise party. Though I freelance and consult now, I’ve never allowed past employers to become my friend on Facebook for the same reason I never went out drinking with supervisors or dated people I worked with.

A couple of past employers put in friend requests on Facebook and I never confirmed. No one ever questioned me or asked me why I didn’t allow them access. If they did I would have told them this: I need to separate my personal life and my business life. They are welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn and maybe even follow me on Twitter. I draw the line at the Facebook thing.

What do you think? Does allowing your boss to be a Facebook Friend just invite trouble?


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  • Kim

    I don’t have any supervisors as friends, and they’ve never asked. I have co-workers who are friends, and family, of course.

    I always post with the idea than anyone can see it. So far, it hasn’t crimped my style. : )

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