Q&A With Jane: How Do I Deal With Work Colleagues On Social Media?


Hi, I work for a medium-sized company with total 200 employees. I work with a team of 12 co-workers. I joined this company three months ago. The work environment is as per my liking, and so far, my colleagues have been very supportive. My boss has been very kind to me. She allows me to take my time while dealing with the new things; moreover, she takes my ideas into consideration, which is very motivating.

Outside of the work, my social life is quite fun. Being a die-hard party animal, I’m a regular club visitor with my girlfriend and friends. We post ridiculous photographs of ourselves on the social media. Also, I’m used to posting my gym selfies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My girlfriend and I are Snapchat addicts and we regularly post our snaps on the platform.

Lately, I have noticed that my boss has sent me a request on Facebook and she has liked my posts on Instagram. Not only this, she has now started following me on Snapchat. Being friends with work colleagues on social media doesn’t seem well to me. I mean who would like having their drunk and half-naked photographs being liked by co-workers on Facebook or any other platform? I’m somehow finding this quite intrusive and embarrassing most above all.

What do you suggest I should do? I’m not at all in the favor of being followed by work colleagues on social media where I post my personal pictures. I prefer keeping my private and professional life as separate as possible. Neither do I want my boss/co-workers to tell me how hot my girlfriend looks in a bikini, nor do I wish to receive compliments on how chiseled my washboard abs are. Can you suggest me some measures or tips to handle co-workers on social media, especially a boss?

ANSWER : Deal With Work Colleagues On Social Media

Dear reader, I understand your dilemma. Being followed by work colleagues on social media is not something, which a majority of working individuals might appreciate.

In your situation, all you could do is ignore your boss’s friend request. In fact, I would suggest you keep the visibility of your posts limited, which can only be accessed by your friends. If she asks, politely tell her you’re not regular with Facebook use and try to engage her in some other talks. Considering she’s already following you on Snapchat and Instagram, I would suggest you block her from your account. If she tries to address the issue, politely tell her you aren’t aware of any such thing, but you’ll look out for the issue as soon as you’re free.

In case, none of the above works, and she’s still adamant, it’s time you discuss this issue professionally with her. Sit down and let her know how you feel about being followed by the co-workers on Facebook or other social media platforms. Tell her that you’re still old-fashioned about these platforms and you like keeping your private and professional life separate. Being straightforward will help you sort out the issue fairly quick. Playing the game of cat and mice wouldn’t do any benefit to you. Take a step ahead and sort it out.

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

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