Digital Deviant: Is it OK to “Friend” Your Boss on Facebook?|
Among the 80 million “millennials” in America – also known as Generation Y – more than half are already immersed in the workforce, and the rest aren’t far behind.
The sometimes-conflicting viewpoints between Gen Y and their bosses (usually Generation X or even Baby Boomers) regarding things like work ethic, flexibility and social media at the office has been a hot topic for the past few years.
Social media, in particular, is such a priority that in a recent survey from Cisco, more than half of millennial employees said they would choose the freedom to be “plugged in” at work over a higher salary when considering job offers.
So, it’s no surprise that one of the most controversial elements of social media at work is whether or not it’s acceptable to “friend” a boss, or even peers, on Facebook. And it seems as though the opinions are pretty much split down the middle – for now at least.
A recent survey from Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project discovered that 54% of Facebook users believe it is irresponsible to friend request your boss, and 61% think it is irresponsible to “friend” a direct report.
CBS News recently published an article called, “Facebook: 5 People Never to Friend from Work.” Guess who number one is on the list? Yep, your boss. Others on the list included HR reps, direct reports, previous bosses and work “frenemies.”
Friending a boss on Facebook is incredibly tempting, especially if you’re dying to get a glimpse of “who they really are” outside of the office.” But the reality is, it’s just too risky and they are most likely going to ignore your request – leaving you to feel rejected and awkward.
The rule of thumb if you’re a millennial – and you like your job – is to avoid mixing personal social media use with your co-workers. You’ll thank yourself when you hear the story about your friend who got busted playing hooky from work because of their status update on Facebook.
Denise Day is a writer and owns a public relations company called Orchid PR.