Do not violate these 5 workplace social media rules

When it comes to social media, some people keep their personal and private lives totally separate. But what happens when this isn’t the case? If you’re friends with coworkers on social media platforms, you’re going to need to watch out for certain pitfalls.

Here’s what not to do when interacting online with those you work with:

Don’t ‘friend’ that coworker you’ve seen — but haven’t met

Kris Ruby, CEO of public relations and social media agency Ruby Media Group, writes in Observer that you shouldn’t be “friending coworkers you don’t know” on social media:

“If you know your colleagues well and you chat a lot at the office, it might make sense to add them on social media. But if you don’t have a close relationship with a colleague, adding them on Facebook or Snapchat might just be awkward. After all, you avoid talking in the break room, so why would you want to connect online?

“The basic rule is this: online boundaries should be a reflection of offline boundaries. If you try to cross one of those lines on the web, it could potentially lead to an uncomfortable situation.”

Don’t say anything that makes others uncomfortable

Be careful when interacting with colleagues online — your words could come back to haunt you.

In light of #metoo, Jaclyn Friedman, feminist writer and author of the book Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us Alltold CNN Money about sexual harassment that can occur on the Internet:

“The division between online harassment and ‘real-world’ harassment is artificial … People who are targeted don’t care that much about what medium it comes by. If you’re getting targeted with rape threats or constant misogyny in your workplace, that’s a hostile workplace — whether that’s coming via Twitter or your coworker over the water cooler.”

Don’t ‘friend’ your boss

This is could get pretty tricky, pretty fast.

Dan Schawbel, CEO of Millennial Branding, told CBS MoneyWatch why friending your supervisor is a bad idea:

“If you friend your boss on Facebook, and then complain about them or share something too personal, they might lose trust in you, not take you seriously and potentially replace you.”


Don’t show the world your Slack screenshots

Rachel Thompson, UK Lifestyle Correspondent at Mashable, writes in the publication that you shouldn’t “post Slack conversations without permission” on Twitter:

“Thought your Slack convo with your work BFF was totally LOL? Good for you. But, before you post a screenshot for all the world to see, think about whether your beloved colleague would want the world reading your innermost secrets. Your work confidante could soon view you as a confi-don’.”

Don’t just ‘friend’ everyone

Ladan Hayes, Corporate Communications Manager at CareerBuilder, told The Penny Hoarder that you should keep “workplace culture” in mind:

“Whether or not to friend your colleagues on social media is dependent on workplace culture … Accepting colleagues’ friend requests can build rapport, but on the other hand, being Facebook friends with everyone in your office may make you feel like you’re constantly under surveillance.”