Is it OK to friend a colleague on Social Media? My answer to this question will always be YES and NO. I think you can have your colleagues on your accounts but be selective about who you befriend and what they get to see. It’s all about trust and loyalty but even then you could still find yourself in awkward situations that won’t be easy to deal with. Here is my list of pros and cons for those of you that still wonder if you should do it or not.
Pros of following and friending colleagues on Social Media:
Friendship – Sometimes you find that you can build great friendships with certain colleagues(especially if you have been working together for a long time) and adding them on your social media platforms makes perfect sense because they know the kind of person you are in and outside the workplace.
You have nothing to hide – Having your colleagues on your accounts gives a certain level of transparency, showing them that you don’t have any issues with them knowing you outside of the workspace.
Faking it – This is a bad thing to do but sometimes if you really want to win people over and make them accept you, you show them what they want to see and you use that to your advantage. You will see this a lot on social platforms like Instagram.
Looking for a raise, add your boss and post depressing pictures of how hard life is LOL I’m kidding. Fake it until you make it they say
Easy Communication – Adding colleagues on certain messenger apps helps you cut costs of having to call and makes for easier communication when you are traveling.
Easy Information sharing – I share a lot of industry related articles I read online quicker with my colleagues via social media than email.
Cons of following and friending colleagues on Social Media:
Resentment – Some people tend to voice their honest opinions on social and you might not be in agreement with them which could lead to tension and even resentment. Certain people post their luxurious lifestyles online which could lead to jealousy and envy if they feel that your lifestyle is better than theirs etc. Like one of my Twitter followers says – “People love success but hate successful people.” and “People love to see you do good but not better than them.”
No Privacy – If you are going to be posting a whole lot of things that are offensive or above your pay grade, then you best believe the snitches are going to hurt your career.
False representation – Sometimes colleagues can base their opinion of you solely based on your social media activity which might not always be true. We all know these people, the ones that always throw in those snarly comments about what you got up to last night in an important meeting and make you look like an idiot then claim that they were just “kidding” I call them “a**holes”!
My advice to you if you are going to add colleagues/clients to your social media then you simply have to be responsible and smart about what you put out there. Also keep track of who follows you I know some people are totally not aware of who has access to their accounts, sometimes you get followed by important people who are trying to get a better understanding of who you are, make sure what they see doesn’t put them off. Also guys it’s not just Twitter or Facebook etc stop taking it so lightly it can have serious repercussions sometimes. The world is changing and our communications lines are evolving your deepest darkest secrets are no longer safe anymore. Google yourself every now and again and see what the interweb has on you trust me you might just be surprised LOL. Your digital trail can either compliment you or it can destroy you.
Let me know what you guys think of my list and please share your thoughts on the topic would really love to know how everyone handles these situations.