Associated Press writer Melissa Rayworth had a particularly coherent article Sunday on Facebook and the workplace, Should you 'friend' your boss on Facebook? Navigating the workplace perils.
Online social networking, originally the playground of pre-workforce Americans, is now commonplace in offices across the country. How do we navigate this new landscape, which builds business contacts and feeds friendships even as it creates a collision between the personal and the professional?
Ignoring these sites isn't an option. MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, Facebook, even niche sites like Digital Rodeo - the list continues to grow. More than half of Facebook's users are now outside college, and the company says people 25 and older are the fastest-growing group on its site.
Opting out could brand you as unenlightened, and signing up but refusing "friend" requests from co-workers or your boss is an uncomfortable solution. Rejection's ill will could even trump the fallout from embarrassing photos.
Absent the usual Facebook fear-mongering, Ms. Rayworth provides practical, common-sense suggestions for balancing participation in social networking with the requirements of the modern workplace:
- Keep your public pages as career-focused as possible.
- Choose your "friends" wisely, and ask that they treat your page with care.
- Choose wisely about how much time to spend signed on.
- When posting updates, think about the details.