I was reading 11 ways to lose your job on Facebook and it got me thinking about how social media is basically destroying that line between your personal life and your professional life. If you think celebrities are the only ones who are suffering as technology has become more and more invasive you are wrong; the only real difference is that with them it is more publicized and therefore the reach is far greater. There are some examples on there that are pretty ridiculous, because your common sense should tell you what you can and cannot share about your work. We all have bad days at work and we also think that getting things off our chest to our friends is a great stress relief, but rather pick up the phone and call a friend to rant and get it out. I have heard of people being fired for airing their negative views about their company or boss on the grounds of bringing the name of the firm or the owner in to disrepute and I guess I can see where they are coming from.
There is a reason why I have made the conscious decision to NOT ‘friend’ colleagues and bosses on Facebook and it is not because I have anything to hide, it is because I want to maintain my personal life and you never know when one of your colleagues is going to get a bee in their bonnet about you and share your personal life with everyone else. I know when your boss requests you as a friend on Facebook you are stuck with the dilemma of do you accept it or not, but to be honest that is your personal, private space and they have no reason to be a part of it. They should not even be befriending you in the first place and you should not feel obliged to accept the request. If they ask you why you did not accept their request you can direct them to your LinkedIn profile, because that is your professional social media profile.
Just have the sense to keep your opinions about your colleagues, employers and clients to yourself or between you and a friend who you can confide in. Keep your profiles private and remember that the ‘ignore’ and ‘block’ functions are there for a reason.