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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who is your Facebook friend?

Great questions today for Working Mom Wednesday...

#1. Do you accept your co-workers as friends on facebook? (or twitter or other social media)

#2. Honest confessions about motherhood

Oh, the joys of Facebook...I love it, but it brings with it a whole new set of work-related dilemas.  Yes, I do accept co-workers as friends on FB now, but at one point I didn't, and there was a really good reason for it.  Here's what happened...

I have been on Facebook for quite a while, and once I talked my husband into jumping into the Facebook world, we started a page for our church.  In no time, we had lots of church members adding us or even joining Facebook just because of our church page.  It's great!  That being said, as a pastor's wife with lots of church members as friends, I'm very careful about what I say online.  I don't want to say anything that can be misread, so I'm very careful about what I post and how I say things.

My former boss was not on Facebook, but some of her family members and friends were also my friends.  A few months ago, I was having a horrible day.  I had a raging headache that wouldn't go away, I was having problems with a co-worker, and one of my professors had given a very unfair and difficult assignment to the class.  I was not a happy camper.  I made what I thought was a very general remark about how I'd like to strangle someone - "I have a certain person or two in mind, but really anyone will do - the person checking out at Wal-Mart, the bad driver ahead of me..."

A few days later, my boss made some remarks about Facebook comments in a meeting.  I approached her about it, and she said I was talking about my coworker with the remarks I had posted and that other members of the gym might see them and know there was a problem.  I was livid.  For one thing, the remarks I had made were not directed at my coworker.  Work was never mentioned in the post.  The worst part was that only my boss and I (I thought) knew about the work situation, so someone (I had a pretty good idea who it was) read too much into what I said and tattled to my boss.  In addition to all of that, instead of approaching me privately and asking me about what was said, she brought it up in front of others in a meeting.

After that incident, I sent my boss an email letting her know that I was defriending all co-workers and work connections on Facebook.  I dropped them all, including her family members who were friends of mine.  I did not want anything I said being used against me or misjudged again.  Things stayed that way for several months.  Now I have a new boss who is very Facebook savvy, and she is a friend of mine, as well as my coworkers.  We have a much different feel to our business now, we're a very close-knit group, and with this group, I don't worry so much about what I say.  But just as a word of advice...be careful about work connections and social media!


4 comments:

Steph, from Be Positive Mom said...

Facebook is a tough one! I am not "friends" with anyone from work and keep it that way. With my blog, it has been hard because my blog page is one thing but I am not sure about "friending" all the blogger connections out there since that will open my private page to the more personal things I keep for family... social media does have a blurry line between personal and business!

BigD said...

I have been having all kinds of issues with the whole FB thing. I first got on it for work--because we were discussing making an office page and I would be responsible for upkeep.
I started with work-only people, then soon relatives--all the creepy ones (like the bro-in-law who has no job and dresses in all black) and the former high school pals who cuss/type like a sailor (because he is one now!) found me.
Suddenly, I didn't know what my focus was...
Worlds were colliding...
That's why I basically gave up on it. It's there, but I MIGHT get on once a month. Maybe.
I think it complicates life.

Rachel M. said...

Wow what an awkward thing to go through and so unprofessional of your job to bring a random comment into the work place. I'm like you, very careful about what I put on Facebook. Glad you got a new job and everything's okay now!

Julia said...

wow, she should've totally talked to you in private. so glad you have a better boss now though.

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