Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Does social networking and co-worker mix?

There is a golden rule of thumb that I use to follow. Don’t add any family members or co-workers to your Facebook. That’s why I created a LinkedIn account, that’s where  I add all of my co-workers. I use it to keep their contacts and for future opportunities, since I’m a contract developer and I move around so much, this is very important. LinkedIn also works great as my resume and references. That’s where it stops, I don’t socialize in LinkedIn. I don’t post statuses other than “Looking for a contract position”, I don’t post any links or strike a conversation anyone else unless to see if they may have any opening or just to do a pulse check. It is strictly for professional use only.

For the past year or so I’ve broken this rule. In my opinion, there are different kinds of co-workers. Those that you just work with, there are also co-workers that you mingle with. And there are co-workers that you actually socialize with. You talk about topics other than work related and you get together outside of work. They are just like your other friends, but you happen to know them from your work place. But I never forget, they are also my co-workers and there are still some boundaries. However that boundary is a big gray line and it’s hard to manage.

The huge problem with having families and co-worker in your Facebook is that they may be exposed to information that you may not have control over. Your friends may post pictures and it’s set to “Friends of Friends” and anyone who is your “Friend” will be able to see them. You can control how you share, but not how someone else shares. One solution is to untag yourself but this can be tedious and it’s damage control instead of prevention. You can also just disable tagging completely, but that’s just being anti-social.

Do you add co-workers to your Facebook?
How do you fine tune your privacy settings in Facebook?
Is there another way mixing work friends with Facebook?

1 comment:

  1. I've got co-workers on my Facebook and they don't really belong to any restricted group. I don't have anything to hide and if anyone feels bothered by my mundane status updates, they can simply hide all my posts in future.

    Whether we like it or not, social networks have become quite public. Someone somewhere is being aware of our actions. And it's always possible that news of our activities are relayed to the wrong people. It can happen in Facebook; it can happen at a bar.

    My rule of thumb is simple: if I don't want people to know what I'm doing, I probably should not be doing it. And if I am doing it, I should be comfortable enough to share it with all.