Friday Question #83

By , October 9, 2009 5:50 am

Are you friends with your coworkers on Facebook? Have you found this to be beneficial (fun) or detrimental (annoying)?

Yesterday I mentioned that I was talking to a coworker about Facebook, and told her I don’t have any drunk pictures of myself on there. Well, on Wednesday she asked me if we were friends on Facebook. I told her no, that I am not friends with any coworkers on Facebook. She then added me to a list she was making (I assume of people to friend on Facebook?). I told her if she sent me a friend request I would decline it, because I am trying to keep my work and private life SOMEWHAT separate. Of course, she then had a thousand questions… and had to mention how she knew the reason I didn’t want to be her friend wasn’t because of drunk pictures, because I DON’T DRINK (ever, according to her).

Anyway, this got me thinking, am I being bitchy by telling her I would decline her request (and is that why she seemed so put off about the alcohol discussion Wednesday)? Is it selfish of me to want to keep Facebook more private and personal?

I really am not hiding anything on Facebook, except those awful bathing suit photos my sister posted of me. I don’t have any sort of secret life on there. I think… I have just exposed myself so much on my blog (which I keep from my coworkers, and link to on Facebook), that I want one place to keep for myself. I don’t want to have to censor the things I say on Facebook because I think coworkers might be reading.

It irks me when people want to be Facebook friends, but don’t even communicate with you. Sometimes, it feels like a popularity contest to me. I usually just get on to use the chat to talk to my sister. I sometimes think about deleting my account.

Anyway, I am thinking about creating a separate “work” Facebook account. Kind of. I’m kind of also thinking that I don’t really care.

As a side note, my sister created a Facebook account for my mom last week! I wish she would use it. We have been bugging her to get on Facebook for awhile.

32 Responses to “Friday Question #83”

  1. Hilly says:

    My work situation is unique, so yes I am friends with my boss and co-workers. However, if I get another job where I *don’t* work for a blogger and personal friend, I do not think I’d let my coworkers see my Facebook. Then again, when I start searching for another job, I’m probably going to have to tone down a ton of my online stuff.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Shame Shame, You’ve Had Your Fun… =-.

  2. Mica says:

    I don’t really have co-workers, so I’m obviously friends with my “co-” graduate students on Facebook. We’re still in college-undergrad mentality, I suppose.

    That said, several professors are on Facebook. Some are friends with students, and some are not. (So I wonder if they have special internet academic cliques where they discuss publishing and funding or something.) In any event, my advisor is definitely NOT my facebook friend. She apparently believes that her students are that–students, and not friends. (She also won’t friend her son on Facebook either–son, not friend.)
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Weirdos all around, myself included. =-.

  3. SoMi's Nilsa says:

    For the longest time, I tried to keep work and Facebook separate. I determined work people should connect with me through LinkedIn, not Facebook. However, I am very good friends with a number of former co-workers … and some of my current co-workers are also friends with them … and so one did finally send me a friend request on FB. I decided it would be in far worse taste if I ignored him or turned him down, so I accepted his request. Plus, I’ve known the guy over a decade, so I definitely do know enough about his wife, family, etc. as he does me. But a general rule of thumb, co-workers are not friends on FB (then again, I’m generally not friends with co-workers outside of work!).
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Replay =-.

  4. DeAnne says:

    I don’t think you’re being bitchy, you’re being honest. If anything maybe a little diplomacy when it comes to that honesty 😉

    I’m Facebook friends with my cool coworkers but honestly we don’t interact much there. Where I have avoided coworkers (some) is on LinkedIn.

    This coworker doesn’t sound like a good listner.

  5. sizzle says:

    I probably should not be friends with coworkers on FB since I’ve been told by a higher up that I am “snarky” though I’m fairly certain they did not actually know what that word meant.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” -The Princess Bride

    I now have only ex-coworkers and 3 actual coworkers as friends. My profile is also private, as is my Twitter account. I feel that helps keep me out of trouble. Relatively.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… The Difference Between Existing and Living =-.

  6. Christina says:

    The co-workes that I friended on facebook are not on my team. I am also not friend iwht anyone higher up. My friend was pressured by her boss to be her FB friend that she had to create a separate account just for that. It should be your decision as to who you want to be you FB friend. I have denied two people and I haven’t looked back.

  7. diane says:

    I’m cautious. I do have a private profile and while I am friends with some co-workers, they are people I consider friends in real life and totally trust. I guess I’ve made so many friends in my life AT work, that I don’t want to close that door.
    If you want to, Facebook has all kinds of functions now where you can put people into groups and you can select who sees what. But it seems like a lot of work to me–I’d say if you don’t want to be FB friends with co-workers, so be it.
    No offense, but your co-worker is starting to sound like an annoying pain in the rear!

  8. My answer is long and turned into a post about this and co-workers and my blog.
    http://GarySaid.com/do-you-make-facebook-friends-with-co-workers/

    But the short answer was:
    In the end, Facebook friending, hasn’t been beneficial or a problem. I guess if I do something cool or fun they might share it with someone else, but since I don’t post too much stuff I would care about others seeing, it’s not really detrimental.

    .-= Author’s last blog post… I met Neil Gaiman!!! =-.

  9. […] coworkers on Facebook? Have you found this to be beneficial (fun) or detrimental (annoying)? From Friday Question #83 at […]

  10. I ended up deleting my Facebook account… it made my anxiety flare up!!! I do understand what you’re saying though. I don’t think you were wrong for telling her you would decline her request though, at least she knew up front!
    =^..^=
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Dreams =-.

  11. Susan says:

    I’m friends with people from work on facebook, although I admit it is a little weird when I want to post something about hating work on there…and it will be especially trying as I start the job search again and want to post about it! Some of the doctors are on facebook, but I haven’t interacted enough with them to be facebook friends, haha. We all refuse to be friends with our manager, however.

    I don’t think that it’s weird to want to keep your work life and your private life separate. One of my good friends is a high school teacher, and her students started finding her on facebook so she made a “teacher profile” with her last name and basic information…what she teaches and what activities she’s involved in at school. She’s young enough that her students are smart enough to realize that she’s probably on facebook, but the decoy site keeps them away from her “real” facebook page, which is named only by her first and middle name.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Clearing My Mind: A Realization =-.

  12. kapgar says:

    It all depends on what you have on Facebook that you’re keeping private. I don’t think telling her you would decline is the way to go. I would be offended if someone up and out told me that. Regardless of the explanation. I’d rather just have the invitation ignored. I’ve had tons of invites ignored and I could care less. Honestly, I’ve forgotten who I’ve invited that hasn’t responded.

    For me, Facebook is private until I receive an invite. Then I let them in and, yes, I am Facebook friends with my coworkers. This has resulted in me keeping Facebook relatively clean. Twitter, on the other hand, is my outlet. It is private and NO coworkers are on there at all. Nor will they be. I let loose on Twitter. Within reason.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… A walk-on would be fine… =-.

  13. *lynne* says:

    Facebook is a weird mixed-bunch entity for me: I joined just because a schoolmate kept bugging me to; I used my real name. Then people from my blogging world started overlapping: at first I declined, wanting to keep my “real life” or at least my real name unknown to the internet citizens… then I decided I was missing out on some social networking by doing that, so I ended up changing my name on Facebook to reflect my internet persona.

    And because of that, I am hyper vigilant about not having people tag photos of me (if they do, I just go and remove the tag) or not posting statements on my wall that would provide clues as to my “real” identity (I’ve deleted perhaps 4 posts, 2 from my father-in-law, that fall in this category).

    I ~am~ FB friends with my ex-colleagues from the organisation where I worked for 9 years and quit about 5 years ago. I’ve noticed more and more of them appearing on FB, and I decided to only befriend those who were more than just “people I interacted with” .. because I kept my non-work life separate from work back then, so I don’t see a need to change that just because they are on FB.

    but if/when I do join the workforce here in the US / Springfield, I think I would stay totally mum about my internet presence.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Happy World Post Day! =-.

  14. Jen says:

    Your coworker is either a Mean Girl or someone with no sense of boundaries. I hope it is the latter. Create a facebook group for co-workers and severely restrict what that group can see, then put her and others like her in it. Maybe they will get bored and go away.

    Actually, she reminds me of Bridget Jones’s “jellyfisher” or the “frenemies” on Sex & The City. Watch your back but don’t let her make you feel like you are the one with the problem.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Back down a bit =-.

  15. Erin says:

    I don’t have any of my co-workers friended on Facebook. I know that two of them have each other friended, though. No one has even asked me if I’m on Facebook and no one has sent me a friend request. I admit that part of me wishes they would so that I would feel liked, but another part of me is glad that they haven’t. I do have one person I met at a work function but who works in a completely different department friended. That’s okay with me because our jobs do not overlap at all. I also have some former co-workers friended because I actually like keeping in touch with them.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Setting the Stage =-.

  16. martymankins says:

    I get what you are saying and I try to keep work and personal life separated.

    With that said, I do have a few work friends on Facebook, but it’s not a lot. And the ones I do have are people I don’t mind hanging out with after work hours.

    But for Facebook in general, I don’t simply just add anyone to my Facebook. For me, it’s not about numbers, but people I want to communicate with on a regular basis. Most of my Facebook friends are people that I grew up with, so it’s a way to reconnect with those that I found fun to talk with and converse with and used to hang out with back in the day.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Scooter Sunday – Season 2 Ep. 13 =-.

  17. carol says:

    You could always create lists so that co-workers could only see certain things on your FB page. But the best policy would be to tell them all that you do not “friend” co-workers. I think some people are just peeping-toms, lurking to see what others are doing. I have a situation where a new pastor at my church is on FB. I got tired of the preachy-ness of the posts so I finally had to “hide” his updates. FB is great but it does create problems.

  18. Etta says:

    I’m friends with a few co-workers, but they’re people I consider friends. If I worked somewhere other than a retail environment, I’d think twice about it.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Catching Up =-.

  19. I actually started my FB account a long time ago, before non .edu users could get an account. We (me and other faculty) did our accounts to be more ‘in touch’ with our students. Now that everyone is on there and my non-work friends post stuff I don’t necessarily want work people or former students to know about…not that it is BAD, but personal…

    So I get where you are coming from. Completely.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… =-.

  20. Amanda says:

    I am friends with several of my coworkers because we are all about the same age and are friends outside of work. I can see why you would want to keep your work life out of Facebook though for sure, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… What happened to fall and What do you wanna know? =-.

  21. suze says:

    I’m not friends with current coworkers on Facebook, although I am friends with past co-workers – usually ones I had a good relationship with while at work. I tend to keep my work life separate from my online life in general.

    As for the rest of my FB friends – I have know you in some way in real life in order to add you (be it through blogging, or high school or what-have-you.)

  22. Stacey says:

    I am friends with a ton of coworkers on Facebook. I don’t know if any of them actually look at my profile. It’s usually just pictures of my cats anyway.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Haunted =-.

  23. Jenn says:

    Nope. Most of my previous coworkers were my parents age, or older, and just not into the internet beyond work usage. I’ve heard my new coworkers talking about it, a lot of them are my age, but I’m not friendly enough in real life to even attempt to find them on FB. Nor do I really want to…
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Nothing =-.

  24. Seals says:

    I’m Facebook friends with two current co-workers. One of them is great. The other has (at times) annoyed me to death with her constant news links and insane comments. Luckily, I have the kind of relationship with her that I could ride her mercilessly about her annoying Facebook manners. 🙂

    As for friending co-workers, I think it just depends on how close you are. However, telling your co-worker you don’t friend co-workers is fine. I wouldn’t worry what she thinks about your reasons. It’s your Facebook account. You can do what you want with it.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Hodad =-.

  25. Cat. says:

    I am friends with some of my coworkers, but only the ones I like. I’m careful about what I say there about work, and I just ignore what seems to be misdirected work-venting when it occasionally flares. It’s interesting, a good exercise in tolerance for beliefs and behaviors that are unexpected and/or unlikeable.

    In your case, I think you’re just being honest. This person sounds needy in so very many ways and if you’re not willing to be her mom or mentor then you defintely shouldn’t do it.

    A good friend of mine created a separate Facebook account when her boss DEMANDED that they become Facebook friends. It’s sometimes annoying, but on the other hand if you play any of those stupid games (Farmville, Castle Age, et al.) that gives you credit for having kabillions of friends, you get a bonus there. I’ve considered doing it just for that purpose, and then I realize that I need to perhaps get my priorities straight. 😉
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Oh, SNAP! =-.

  26. Jen512 says:

    It did cross my mind the other day when I posted those links on your facebook about blogs and other bloggers. I know you had mentioned before that co-workers were not aware of this blog and I totally understand you wanting to keep it that way. I tried to be careful about not referencing your blog or the fact that you blog in any way, and I figured you would just delete the post if there was an issue. I’m friends with other people I know from blogging, and some don’t allow any references to their blog on their pages because they blog about their family members, but are friends with those family members on FB and they don’t want the two worlds colliding.

    I somewhat feel the same way about my blog and FB, my main blog is just for me and my fellow blog friends, while my Turkish travel blog is for family and friends. I just like having the freedom to say whatever I want on my main blog.

    My husband (who’s also my co-worker :D) had a FB for a while but he deleted it, I have a lot of guy friends and every little comment was making him anxious. I’m glad he recognized that it was his problem, not mine and didn’t ask me to stop using it. I did come across our business partner’s profile the other day, but I decided against requesting him 🙂 Privacy is privacy after all. I don’t think you should feel pressured to add co-workers, but if a “professional” FB is necessary for you, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either. Do be careful though…I once got fired from a job over an innocent post I made on my myspace page. Sometimes social networking and jobs don’t mix.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Cooking with Jen =-.

  27. ChezJulie says:

    I have a lot of friends on my Facebook account from my old punk rock days, and some of them are pretty sarcastic and irreverent. I absolutely do not want to worry about my colleagues reading their funny comments and sexual innuendo! So if anyone from work asks to friend me I tell them that I don’t friend coworkers on Facebook, but I would be happy to connect to them on LinkedIn.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Getting Better, D.C. Trip, Biggest Loser =-.

  28. bobbi says:

    Facebook for me is a HUGE advertising venue… not only is it advertising… it’s FREE advertising so, yes… I do add people that I work with. BUT, the people that I work with are clients… and YES I’m VERY guarded in what I say… so, it’s not really fun for me… as much as it is work. Popularity contest, absolutely.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… 6 years. =-.

  29. Teeni says:

    Oh, I had to laugh when I read this post because for the last few months I have been contemplating deleting my Facebook account. To me, it really does seem like a popularity contest and I’ve had some people tell me that they accept anyone who requests to be a friend. I also started wondering whether I should have a separate account on Facebook with my real identity so that old classmates could find me but then I thought “What am I crazy?” I’ve already got a blog, a FB account, a Twitter account, several email accounts, blah, blah, blah. I then start to think there has to be a limit as to how many applications I need to log in to in order to keep in touch with people. FB has been aggravating me a lot lately though because not only are there so many time wasters on there, there are also so many useless updates of what other people are doing in those time wasters, like “Your friend So-and-So just found a platypus in Zoo Country. Come play Zoo Country,” or some similar nonsense. It gets so that you can’t read the updates of the people you really are interested in conversing with. Sheesh. OOps – didn’t mean to write a book over here but those things really are all going through my head and I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet but I do think I am going to be honing down on the extracurricular internet applications so I can focus on the things that are most important to me, including real life. Hi!!! 🙂
    .-= Author’s last blog post… My Bowl is Betta =-.

  30. Bethany says:

    I have five of my coworkers and previous coteachers on facebook, but I’m friends with all of them and do stuff outside of work with them, so it’s not a big deal. There are a few people at work that I probably wouldn’t add…
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Weekend Getaway =-.

  31. Holly says:

    My friend and I were just talking about this!

    I would definitely keep my work/friends separate. For one, I bad mouth my job a lot. Don’t want my boss knowing that I despise coming to work everyday. 🙂 And, also, I don’t want to have to really wrack my brain when I post things. Takes the fun out of it, ya know?

    My parents are both on Facebook! Hilarious. I DO have to think sometimes when I post certain things. My dad’s pretty religious and I have to watch my language (gosh, do I sound like I’m 10 or what?).

    I think most people understand wanting to keep personal/work lives separate. I would think your co-worker would get that?
    .-= Author’s last blog post… And They Called it Pumpkin Love =-.

  32. Nat says:

    I have coworkers on Facebook but I leave it to people to find me. My former boss friended me on FB and really how could I refuse. I reckon we should be careful online. The blog isn’t really a secret either but it’s not linked from my FB profile. Shrug… it’s all out there…

    Keeps me honest and makes me think twice before posting.
    .-= Author’s last blog post… Busted. Roof. =-.

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