There was a time, just a few years ago, when people debated whether it was kosher for bosses to follow their employees on social media. But with the number of users swelling exponentially and time spent on those platforms becoming a part of everyday life, that’s now widely accepted (and bosses have gleefully embraced it as an easy way to keep tabs on their charges).
From the perspective of employees, however, it’s a different story. Nobody wants big brother watching on a platform where even your own parents aren’t always welcome. But since it’s not very polite to reject your boss’ friend request, here’s what you can do to minimise workplace damage while you set up a private account for your real friends.
1. Be your own censor
Remember that everything you post is open to interpretation by the person who sees it…and that you won’t be there to defend yourself if what you’ve put up is read the wrong way. So watch what you say and what kind of image you’re creating for yourself online. A useful tip is to assume that everyone is reading what you’re saying. Put yourself in their shoes – how would they see it?
2. Some things should be kept private, even on a public platform
That hot-headed rant about a colleague you’re about to post while you’re seething? Wait till you’re calm to see if you really need to make it public. Social media may be all about the moment, but whatever goes on it is also forever. As the saying goes: “Post in haste, repent at leisure.”
3. Watch your timing
Know when to publish your stuff. Putting up several posts during a workday signals to your boss that you’re not beavering away when you should be. And if you’re out on a drinking binge late on a weeknight and plan to take an MC the next day (hey, we all know that happens), it’s probably not the best idea to post photos of your every tipple on Instagram.
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