Q&A with Jane: What To Do When A Colleague is A Social Media Stalker

Hi Jane,

Being a millennial in this day and age, I believe in being open about my personality at all times. This means that I am not only honest with my peers, but carry the same attitude at my workplace as well. Now I feel that my open attitude is being taken for granted. Just like I am an honest individual, I project the same on my social media profiles as well. One look at my profile and you would know all about my personality and what is going on in my life. It is my personal choice about what to post and what not. These days I feel that I must keep a check on what I post on my social media. This is all because of a colleague who stalks me on a daily basis.

The colleague who stalks me is not just an acquaintance, but also my manager. This is why it gets all the more uncomfortable. Last week, I was absent in office for a few days as I was down with the flu. I decided to soak in some fresh air in the park during this time and there I saw an adorable dog. I took a picture of the dog and posted it on Facebook. The very next day my manager questioned me if I was lying about my illness. When I blocked him, he kept pestering me on a daily basis till I didn’t unblock him. He also discusses my personal life with my colleagues based on my social media. All this has made work unpleasant. Should I filter what I post on my social media profiles?

colleague as social media stalker

One needs to deal with social media stalkers at the workplace in a tactful manner.

Answer – Colleague As Social Media Stalker:

It is not really comforting but it’s a fact that you aren’t the first person who is experiencing such a workplace culture. Especially in the case of seniors, they take it for granted that even what you do outside the office is their business. Such people often fail to notice the thin line that differentiates between professional and personal life. Let me make it clear that you owe no justification for what you do in your personal life. If someone’s attitude towards you at the workplace changes because of your social media profile, then you can report it to your HR.

In the case of your manager, you must learn to politely decline any such questions in future. Try telling him in a subtle manner that your personal life is none of his business. Also, make it clear that you don’t let your personal life affect your work efficiency hence he must also do the same. He seems like the kind of person who is curious about others as he has nothing better to do. Remember that he can’t take any action against you with your social media profile as proof. If he goes to the extent of doing so, confidently sue the company for unethical measures. And yes, don’t hesitate in blocking him. There is no need for you to filter your personality just because your manager is an obsessive stalker.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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