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Facebook: Friend or Foe @ Work?

There I was, writing my very first newspaper article about Facebook and being “status conscious” when it comes to friending co-workers.

Amazed by speaking with sources who wanted to remain anonymous and fascinated by the topic, it begged me to ask the question: could you truly be Facebook friends with your co-workers? Perhaps the better question is should you friend your co-workers? How about your boss?

I got the article idea after a co-worker sent me a friend request. One by one they all trickled in from my colleagues, all of whom I respect and admire but don’t necessarily want to share the scooplicious photo albums or personal wall posts a la Vickiville.

To accept or not to accept, that was the question.

I grappled with the idea of some of them having TMI (too much information). What if I arrive to “Recruiter’s Row” (yes, we have a street sign on our floor within HR) visibly exhausted one morning because I attended a late-night film festival premiere the previous night?

Sure, in the past I could have just flown under the radar screen but Facebook leaves too many footprints whether you’ve updated your status, posted pics or accepted an event request.

Sure, you can micro-manage privacy settings but I miss the days when you could simply post whatever you wanted without having to think twice.

Those days are over for me: I did end up accepting those requests and actually feel the work friendships have blossomed by having a window into their personal lives, too.

As social networking has immersed itself into our daily lives, it certainly blends the professional with personal.

Are you cautious about what you post and want your co-workers to see (or in some cases, not see)? Has your boss sent you a Facebook friend request and if so, did that cross a line for you? How about a difficult co-worker? Or perhaps the office gossip? How are you handling it?


  1. briewr

    Great topic! I am friends with some of my co-workers on Facebook, but certainly not my boss. That’s what is for. The only reason I “friended” my co-workers is because I feel that we share a more personal working style, we often speak about non-work happenings and I would genuinely like to keep in touch with these folks when I leave my job (in June).
    While I have very positive feelings for my boss as well, our relationship is much more professional in nature and, frankly, she has the ability to fire me if she sees something “bad” on Facebook! 🙂 In all seriousness, I’m not worried about that, but some folks ought to be!

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