Is your boss your ‘friend’?

An interesting news story in the International Herald Tribune about the dilemma of Facebook users about having their bosses as ‘friends’:

Should you accept your boss’s invitation to online friendship, which would allow him or her to see your roster of acquaintances, party photos, videos and social activities? Do you dare reject the token of virtual friendship and possibly commit career suicide? Or should you, as one blogger suggests: “Deny, deny, deny. Pretend as if you never saw the friend request.”

Well, this question should apply to colleagues and professional contacts too. What your colleagues see on your Facebook profile can as well make or break your credibility and reputation at work. But that doesn’t mean you cannot make them your friends. I have my bosses and many colleagues (both current and former) as friends in Facebook – although I have to agree with a friend’s remark that not all of them would count me as “friend”, so there should be a way to categorize them as colleagues, contacts etc.

I think it depends on what kind of person you are: if you’re into wild parties every evening you wouldn’t share those party photos with your colleagues and boss in real life even if you socialize with them regularly. The same boundaries should be maintained online. Just because every bit of your life can now be shared easily with everyone, it need not be shared as such. Rather, because of that one should be careful about keeping a clear distinction between “private” and “public”.

What do you think?

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Author: Kanti Kumar

I am a communications professional with 30 years of experience in print, television, digital and social media. After working as a print and television journalist in various Indian media houses for more than a decade, I moved to digital media and since 2000, I have been managing web and social media communications for international NGOs and UN agencies.

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