Whether Instagram is your thing, or you like to keep it old school with Facebook, there’s no doubt that social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family. But say you’re scrolling through your social feed and your boss pops up as a friend request. Do you accept, deny, or ignore it and hope they don’t notice?
Are you connected to your colleagues on social media? Should you be?
Short answer? No. However, it’s not uncommon for co-workers to request following you on social media. In fact, data shows that three out of four people are currently connected with co-workers. This is especially true when you work in a creative industry. It is increasingly the way to keep up with people. It truly blurs the line between work and personal life. Sometimes this content helps humanize us and highlights what we have in common in order for relationships to flourish.
Think about it, following a work pal online will give you proper insight into what they really like. It’s a great bonding tool. Social media can help to create a close-knit team and give you things to talk about. And sure, being tagged into a picture can be great (except when you’re caught at a bad angle and have five chins!).
But here’s the thing, whatever you post paints a vivid picture. It’s safe to assume that everyone - from Grandma to your boss – reads everything. So, if your boss happens to stumble across a Twitter diary of your pub crawling every weekend, it’s going to be difficult for her to avoid letting that information influence how she sees you.
According to a poll by internet platform provider Iglo Software, two-thirds of workers that have connected to their colleagues on social media, have experienced issues in the past, and 55% of workers admitted that they have decided not to post something on social media because of a colleague connection.
So, whether it’s wise to connect with your co-workers on social media depends on how and what you share, the kind of social media footprint you’ve created, the culture of your workplace, and the kind of working relationships you have with your colleagues.
As for connecting with your boss? This may be 99% unwise. Sharing content of a personal nature can shift professional boundaries in unhelpful ways. Remember, if you’re unsure about sharing your personal content with colleagues or your boss, then don’t. It’s okay to ignore or decline requests; mention to the inviter that you prefer to keep your social media contacts and content separate from work.
However, with social media becoming an integral part of communication at work, having your co-workers as followers may be inevitable. It’s important to navigate the situation by doing a social media audit by deleting compromising posts. Make sure that the remaining content aligns with the impression you want to convey. Change your privacy settings and think twice before posting content that could be used against you.
Remember, not all social media platforms are appropriate for workplace connections. You may feel more comfortable connecting with co-workers on LinkedIn rather than on TikTok or Instagram.
Source: bmmagazine.co.uk, forbes.com, seek.com.au, misa.org.za, Pertemps.co.uk, zdnet.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.