Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On "Friending" Your Boss and other Facebook Dilemmas in the Workplace

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.
Here's one more Facebook article, just for fun: President Bush Joins Facebook, Waits for Friend Requests
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website: www.wiselaw.net


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was incredibly bizzare that this article did not mention the simplest solution to this problem– the option to limit your profile. You can set your profile not to show your boss, parents etc. your wall or pictures or anything else that you don't want them to see. In fact, many of the "problems" identified in the piece can be managed simply by modifying the privacy settings.