Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Should You Friend Co Workers on Facebook?

Why am I feeling so out-of-the-loop lately?

It's a strange thing.  I have always been introverted, although I do enjoy the company of a select few people.  I've been happy with that.  And, I enjoy interacting with people on social media.  A lot of my introvert nature melts away online.  But just try to call me (one reader did, many years ago) and you will see a woman in her 60's in panic mode. (No, she wasn't stalking me - rather, I had posed a health question, and she was just trying to be helpful.   But I wasn't ready for it.  Fortunately, I wasn't home, my answering machine picked it up, and I never did call her back).

I don't feel lonely that much.  In fact, I crave, and need, time to myself.  Fortunately, I have an understanding spouse.  But about that out of the loop feeling:

A photo is what started it off.

People at work were talking about a photo a co worker had taken.  It was quite a photo (dare I say "epic"?), and he had posted it on Facebook.  That's where my co workers saw it.  Lots of co workers saw it.  Turns out that there is a whole world of my co workers interacting on Facebook with each other in their personal time.  I'll mention here that we are not permitted access to Facebook (or any social media other than LinkedIn) on our work computers, so this is all on our own time.

I've maintained a policy of not friending co workers on Facebook.  OK, I have one co worker friend on Facebook, but we've been friends outside of work for years.  I've heard of bad stuff happening when you friend co-workers on social media.  It happened at my spouse's job (not him personally, because he isn't even active on Facebook) where some co workers/Facebook friends ended up in a fight about something work related that got back to management, and someone ended up getting fired. 

But back to that photo.  For the first time in a long time, I felt out of the loop, like I was missing out on something. I actually felt lonely, especially after someone took pity on me, whipped out their phone, opened Facebook and showed me the photo.

So that's how I found out just how many people at work were interacting with each other.  And I was totally out of that loop.

I'm not native to this area, and it could be these people went to high school with each other, or had each other as neighbors, or are even related to each other (and we do have siblings and in laws working there).  But maybe there is no outside work connection outside of Facebook.  I have no idea.

For the first time, I'm questioning my policy.  Mind you, no co worker has invited me to be their friend, which is just as well, because then I would have to face this question head on.  Also I interact with some of them on LinkedIn, but that is something totally different.

So I am going to ask my readers this question today.  Have you friended co workers on Facebook?  If so, has it been a good experience or not so good?

I'm just curious. 

My gut still says "don't do it" but if I do get an invite, I don't know what I would do.  And perhaps that is my real, unspoken, question.

18 comments:

  1. I refuse to have a Facebook account. I do not even have a LinkedIn account but continue to get requests from folks. I, too, tend to be introverted in my private life. I do not need the drama.

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    1. Definitely too much drama on social media, but I do find Facebook a good way to keep in touch with certain family members, and it does help me (I think) with promoting my blog.

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  2. I’m Facebook friends with only one current coworker, and that’s because we we friends before he worked here. I’m Facebook friends with a lot of people from my previous job, and yes, that can be an issue. A former coworker once published a rant about her supervisor on her Facebook and it got back to him ...

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    1. I do not discuss work at all on Facebook. And, come to think of it, if I had friends on Facebook (my one work friend on FB is rarely on it)I would be tempted to discuss work. That is a very good argument against friending anyone.

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  3. This is a great question. I will tell you why. So i have a full time job and blogging is a side hustle. I have many coworkers on my facebook list and every time i think sharing a blog post, i wonder if i will be judged by what i write.. So i am happy that you don't have many coworkers on your list. :)

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    1. Blogging is a side hustle for me, too. And I don't promote my blog at work. Thanks for the observation, because you've helped me make up my mind.

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  4. Good morning. I'm retired now and most friends on FB are from work. Had a job for the last 40 years where it was necessary to speak to maybe 100 people a day 25% of them were employees so being introverted was not an option. That being said ...time now spent with large groups of people I am one of the few extraverted people there BUT I find it exhausting. Ok, back to your question. FB is just another form of entertainment. Most people sign up and never bother using it, then the other large portion who post are just bored. Some like to share their life (good only) with the rest of the world. Now work people in your situation are just having fun but beware sometimes people speak their inside voice and it causes problems. Most people just like to show-off their wonderful life and that's ok but sometimes it's overkill and some whine or vent for good reason and the a very small percentage might be nasty. People are people. Go ahead and friend some co-workers but be sure you know how to use FB so they don't see personal posts. Hope this was helpful.

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    1. Patsi, after reading some of the other comments, I've pretty much decided I was doing the right thing for me - and you've also reinforced my conclusion. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. I'm one of the few from my area who moved away (FAR away). So, I am out of the loop for their shenanigans.
    From my point of view, coworker friending is ok- if induced by the coworker. Staff friending is a no-no, though.

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    1. I gave up being a manager several years ago, so staff isn't an issue. I would agree with you 100% on that, either being a manager or a business owner.

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  6. I have a lot of former colleagues that I'm friends with on Facebook because it's hard to stay in touch after we've parted company. If I was still working, there'd be no way I'd "friend" anyone I worked with (or worse, for) on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter or any other social media.

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    1. I am not sure what I will do when I do retire (I'm 65 but not planning for it at this time) but I just may friend some of the co workers I enjoyed working with. And if they didn't accept my friend request - no hard feelings.

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  7. I can totally understand your dilemma. I faced issues after adding my colleagues to Facebook. So now my policy is to keep personal and professional things and relationships separate from each other. I can follow them on twitter but never let them interfere in my personal space.

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    1. Thank you also - I've come to that conclusion after reading other comments. Yours and others helped me!

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  8. I think who you friend on FB is dependent on how free you want to be to post whatever you want there. Friending coworkers could reform the way you're able to use the platform.

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  9. I would not friend colleagues on FB. In fact I've only just opened a FB account. I didn't socialize with my work mates except for the work related social activities and lunches and coffee and work parties etc. It worked for me but it probably doesn't work for ambitious people who want to rise up through the ranks. I found all the smokers talked several times a day as they met each other outside for a smoke.

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  10. I only follow a couple coworkers on FB, and that was kind of a weird circumstance. Although, considering the nature of subbing, it would be a great way to keep in touch with other subs (as we're not usually in the same place at the same time). I have more former coworkers as FB friends.

    If it came up, you should probably take it on a case by case basis. Do you want to see this person's posts on FB? But as no one has friend requested you, I doubt it'll come up.

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  11. That's bad that your husband's coworkers got into trouble due to the interactions in facebook.
    I am not working at this point of time, but I think it is a bad idea to add colleagues who are not exactly friends as friends in Facebook. I always tell that to my husband. He has his managers, coworkers, subordinates, everyone in Facebook though he isn't an active FB user. It has become a norm to add as friends if you just come across the person anywhere. Personally, I would refrain from adding colleagues as friends, though I do have a couple of my ex-colleagues on my friend list, they are my good friends actually.

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