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.