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To Friend or Not to Friend…That is the Question?

Don’t want your co-workers to know, “your sick day” was really a hangover day? Decide to skip a family function to hang out with some friends and now you can’t post a picture on Instagram because they might see? Yeah, we’ve been there, done that.  Here are a few tips to help navigate that murky gray area of family and coworkers on social media…


  1. Be strategic.  Maybe Facebook is common ground for family and co-workers (we know this is the case for many), where as your Twitter and Instagram may be more for your personal “friends”, followers and those folks you don’t mind sharing your more “Ratchet” side with.  It’s OK to showcase your “Classy” side on one platform while being more personal and “you” on another platform. Do what’s comfortable for you and stick with that.
  1. Use your privacy settings.  They are there for a reason.  Maybe you only want a specific group of “friends” to view certain posts.  Facebook and Google+ in particular make this pretty easy.  If Uncle Buster’s comments on your photos make you uncomfortable he may not need full access to your photo gallery. Adjust your settings as needed for your own sanity.
  1. No cherry picking.  If you do decide to associate with co-workers online remember its best not to “cherry pick” from the bunch, otherwise you could potentially create a negative work environment by alienating some, while associating with others.  Avoid the “mean girl” treatment.  If you’re going to associate with your co-workers be ready to accept ALL of their “friend” invites.  Same goes for family.
  1. This is YOUR page.  In life, you control the people that you allow into your space and the same goes for social media.  If you prefer not to associate with co-workers outside of work, don’t be afraid to politely decline a coworkers request and simply let them know you prefer to not mix your business and personal life in general, especially with social media.  And if a co-worker or family member you’ve “friended” doesn’t like a post you’ve shared, feel free to politely remind them they can un-friend/follow you at anytime. They have their own page, for their opinions.  You have yours- and this is OK.

For all its good, social media has become equally as frustrating and tricky when it comes to maintaining family and coworker relationships.  It’s also important to note, NOTHING on social media is truly private so do be smart and try not to go too overboard with your posts on any platform.  Do make a decision as to what your strategy is though and stick with that.  Consistency is always key, whatever your approach.