5 people who not to friend on Facebook

July 08 2014

By Julia Richardson – Social media can be used in many ways, some platforms more than others. But who not to friend on Facebook is as important as who you are befriending. While LinkedIn is built around professional networking, others, like Facebook are used in a more personal way.

Facebook was all fun and games in the beginning, but now it’s much more than a place to communicate with friends. Navigating who to friend or accept requests from can be tricky enough these days with mom and grandma getting in on the action. And once you find yourself censoring your thoughts and words, the whole platform can easily lose its luster.

It’s easy to let your guard down and think, “What’s the harm?” when in reality, the mix of work and personal is still ill advised. One study indicates that Millennials are friends with at least 16 coworkers on Facebook. But is it a good idea?

Let’s take a look at five people who not to friend on Facebook.

Your Boss
This one should be obvious who not to friend on Facebook. It may seem like a good way to get to know him or her outside of the workplace, but in reality, it can be the beginning of the end. No matter how tight you think your privacy settings are set to, the rules and settings are constantly evolving. Posts can be misinterpreted and your workplace integrity can easily be compromised. And all those games you may or may not play on your phone at work? An unwitting update can blast your activity to your boss. For these reasons and more friending your boss is just too risky. Don’t do it.

Need more proof? Here’s a list of 16 reasons, courtesy of Buzzfeed.

who not to friend on facebook

The Office Enemy
We’ve all heard the saying; “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In this case, nope. Nope, nope, and nope. Resist the urge to spy on your workplace “frenemy.” Facebook doesn’t work one-way. You viewing his or her profile means he or she can also view yours. If this person is ultimately competition, they may be looking and waiting on the perfect opportunity to take you down. Don’t give them any intel or ammunition by friending them on Facebook.

Anyone in HR
We often think of HR as always having our best interest in mind, but as we’ve discussed in previous posts, their duty is to work in the best interests of the company. Friending your HR contact or anyone that works in HR may seem safe, but in reality job-complaints or ranting could be grounds for dismissal. In this case, what you say can and very likely will be held against you and result in job loss.

Your Old Boss
This is what LinkedIn is for, not Facebook. If you left your previous job on good terms, you may be tempted to friend your old boss. Especially if the two of you had a good relationship. This could, however, cost you. If he or she finds your online persona annoying or too revealing about your work habits, this could affect his or her view of you and impact future references. It’s best not to jeopardize your relationship and avoid the temptation of friending your old boss.

Anyone You Manage
It’s important to maintain a professional relationship with those that you manage and it’s hard to do that if you become Facebook friends with them. In fact, this friending can backfire in one of two ways: You could lose credibility with your boss or coworkers, or you could lose credibility with others you manage. Make it a policy of yours not to friend those that you manage.

Social media makes it easy to blur the lines between business and personal, but when friending someone from work you should always proceed with caution. Who not to friend on Facebook is as important as anyone you add.

who not to friend on facebook

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