Accept or Reject? Friending Coworkers on Facebook

Posted by The Editors on July 6, 2011
Accept or Reject? Friending Coworkers on Facebook

In the past two weeks, I’ve received a whopping three “friend requests” on Facebook. The first: A girl I met while out with a mutual friend, who turned out to be cool and likes the roommate of the boy I like. Friend accepted, no brainer. The second: An editor/professor I briefly worked with on a freelance basis. (My article was on the history of dog meat, no less.) He’s a middle-aged guy, and I’m sure quite interesting, but are we friends? No. Do I have any intention of perusing his “Christmas Morning with the Fam” photo album? No. All signs pointed to “reject” — another no brainer.

Then last week, the answer wasn’t so obvious. The third friend request came from a coworker who I actually would consider a friend. We collaborate on projects, work approximately 4.5 feet away from each other, get along quite well, and because of our proximity and the 40-hour workweek, we’re more involved in each other’s lives than I am with the majority of my Facebook friends. So why wasn’t this another no brainer?

While we’ve all heard that images of taking shots or double-fisting beers don’t make for the most professional of profile pictures, there’s actually far more to consider. While I doubt she’d be offended by a tagged photo of me double-fisting, I can’t imagine that my coworkers (let alone boss) would be thrilled with the fact that I spend 2 minutes at work every other morning posting a list of “Things to be Happy About.” Maybe not, but I can’t say for sure.

Essentially, we have two options: We can accept our coworkers’ friend requests and censor what we say and do, or we can reject them and continue to post and comment as we wish.

Sorry, Holly.

For more on this topic, check out Taming Your Online Presence and our new Insider Guide, Brand Thyself.

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