Friday, March 26, 2010

Do you "friend" your boss or co-workers on Facebook? Would you?

I read Melissa Ford's post on this morning about a young girl in the U.K. whose boss fired her in a post on her Facebook page.  The title Why you should rethink friending your boss on Facebook, caught my eye because I struggle with how exactly to use Facebook all the time.  In this case, the boss was clearly unprofessional, besides, it's tacky to fire someone publicly .... aside from that, I think that you open yourself up to any number of similar scenarios simply by letting the lines blur in the first place.

I love Facebook for connecting me to the little boy down the street that threw a boulder on my head at the bus stop in first grade, for finding the high school boyfriend that didn't have the balls to break up with me and just turned into an ass instead, for connecting me with the people at various stops on my journey. 

Businesses use Facebook as another social channel for marketing and building relationships.  I don't particularly like it (but I help them use it cause it is a resource I can't deny them).  I feel protective of what Facebook is for me.  I was involved in a conversation, nay debate, quite some time ago with James Andrews, @keyinfluencer.  The discussion was focused around why I would try to keep Facebook "personal" and that I am Facebook friends with my mom, but that I would not involve my business relationships in my Facebook activity.  James maintains that if I were truly authentic I would be the same on Facebook/"real life" as I would be in my business life and therefore keeping it separate is not necessary.  I AGREE.  100%.  In fact, the majority of my work now comes from people who seek me out primarily because of my social media presence/personality and they are fully aware of my no BS approach to things, so when I tell them their idea sucks, they listen to why instead of getting defensive and pissed off by my honesty.  But do I have to share my family pictures, my weekends, my bad days with everyone I encounter in my business world?  James would say, "Why not?  Wouldn't you want them to know you better by seeing who you are on the weekend?  Wouldn't that go further in building your relationship?"  Well, YES.  But..... 

If a client or PR rep that I am doing work with sends a friend request I typically accept.  We are in a current working relationship and I know them.  I'm fortunate enough to work with people that I would consider friends..... it is the nature of social media.  Not everyone can say that about their work or the people they work with and there have been times in my professional life where I would NEVER have opened my Facebook world to anyone I worked with.  Opening up my comfortably small list of FB friends scares me.  Right now my FB friends are a manageable number of connections that I have history with and I interact with most all of them on a regular basis.  If I friend JoeShmoe, whom I met in passing at a conference, I may some day be able to reconnect and network etc, right?  But isn't that what Linked-In is for?

I like that I have thousands of twitter followers and I love the back and forth, the feedback, the fun of chatting with people in an environment that is at one moment silly/casual and at another moment sharing ideas, opinions, and resources.  I like twitter for that - as a "micro-blogging" platform I consider it an extension of this blog.  So then why would I not consider Facebook part of that extended package?  Why do I have to?  Isn't there enough of me out there already?  What's one more piece of me going to mean to you?

I like compartments.

I like that I can use different social platforms for different purposes.  You'll never see my tweets on my FB updates - it would drive my FB friends insane... and I like them so I'm not going to do that.  Not all of my friends "get", nor want to "get", all that I do.  They "get" Facebook, as a means for looking up old high school friends, and sharing pictures etc.  This is the FB I love and I want to keep it a safe place for the people in my life that fear, loathe, or are resistant to social media. For them it is a window into my world and it becomes a platform for me to do precisely what James Andrews says we must all do.  Evangelize.  I am a social media evangelist and Facebook is a sort of congregation for me.  I can demonstrate the power of social media in a less noisy environment.  The conversations and questions that I get from people are awesome.  The curious stares turn into engagement in dialogue and finally, to understanding. 

I posted a question on my Facebook page to see what my friends would say.  I predict that the responses there will be widely different from the responses that would pop up here.  In fact, so far they are quite interesting.  I've even gotten several private messages... hmmm how authentic are those people? So tell me....

Do you "friend" your boss or co-workers on Facebook? Would you? Thoughts?


9 Responses to "Do you "friend" your boss or co-workers on Facebook? Would you?"
  1. Jess said...
    March 26, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    I'd say it's better to keep them separate. I have a few different profiles for a few different "Aliases" because it's just simpler to keep the majority out of personal affairs.

  2. MommyLovesStilettos said...
    March 26, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    No. Never. My boss friend requested me and I didn't accept. Why?

    Well, because we aren't "friends". I don't like her at work, so why would I want her on my FB? Just like I don't add people that friend request me that I don't really know. Like some kid from high school that knew me, but I didn't know him. We weren't friends then, why would I add you to my FB?

  3. The Pursuit of Mommyness said...
    March 26, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Hey lady! It's been awhile...can't believe I wasn't following your blog already...I am now! And no, wouldn't want to mix the work world with my blog/ social networking or personal world...never a good idea.

  4. Shady Lady said...
    March 26, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Hell no! In fact, I went as far as blocking myself from my clients, back when I was practicing massage. I don't need my clients on my friends list.

  5. AdriansCrazyLife said...
    March 26, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    No, I don't think I would, nor do I share my blog with any of my co-workers, or post anything specifically about work on my blog. I think it's wise to keep a pretty strict line between my co-workers and my other friends. I do have two work friends on FB, but they are people I am close friends with and they don't work in my department, so I feel pretty comfortable with that.

    I am also lucky to have a completely different set of people in my Facebook and Twitter worlds. I like it that way because I have specific things I post to my IRL friends on FB and my blog friends on Twitter. I just wish that you could approve new Followers on Twitter. The block button is my friend and I've already blocked more than 150 Tweeps from my account. It just creeps me out to have all those people listening in on my conversations with my friends.

  6. Funlidivagirl said...
    March 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    For the most part I use Facebook for friends and I like it that way. Sometimes people send me friend requests if we are in the same organizations and I will friend them. But in general I use Twitter for business and Facebook for pleasure.

  7. Anonymous said...
    March 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    I've given up on FB. I accept almost anyone as a "friend" because they just want another "friend" for a game and it's gotten out of my control. I don't converse with anyone on FB, which seems just wrong. What I want to do is start another FB page for my real friends so I can chat with them.

    And, why do I have to resubmit to Google everytime I post?


  8. Jen @ After The Alter said...
    March 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    I think no matter how "personal" you think facebook is, and no matter how hard you try the stuff you put on facebook can get out there. I personally think that whatever I put on facebook I would be comfortable having anyone seeing or reading. I mean, they say even potential bosses look you up online! lol

  9. Stefany said...
    April 1, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    I see FB as a more public thing. I don't know how to explain really but, like you, I don't share my Twitter updates on FB. I don't want the "friends" to know all my buzness! :) Twitter seems more like my privacy is more ensured. Stupid, huh?

    I would never friend my current boss or anything. No way! But, that isn't because I share too much because I obviously don't. I don't say much at all I guess. lol

    Thanks so much for linking up with Sat Sound Off. Sorry it took me so long to get to the posts this week. I tweeted and stumbled this post. I hope you come back on Saturday.


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