How to deal with coworkers on social media

Given how much time you spend at work, it’s likely you see your coworkers more than your nearest and dearest. Over time, you probably develop good friendships with some of these people, and maybe make sworn enemies out of others. However, while it’s great to get along with your colleagues, where do you draw the line? The rise of social media has helped you to connect with them more than ever, but is it really a good idea to become Facebook friends with your coworkers? After all, nothing you do online can ever really be erased.

Avoiding awkward encounters

Social media is there for you to share any and everything about your life. It’s supposed to be a safe space where you can talk about what you’re doing at the weekend and post soppy statuses about your other half. However, while sites like Facebook and Twitter are useful for filling people on your life, they can be a dangerous minefield to navigate. Saying the wrong thing could cost you dearly.

If you post or share something that one of your colleagues disagrees with, it might cause tension between the two of you. There should never be any animosity in the office, especially if it interferes with your productivity. So, unless you’re willing to censor what you share on social media, it might be wise to think before you add one of your colleagues.

Stuck in the middle

While you might fear that avoiding colleagues on social media paints you as rude, that’s not the case. There’s nothing wrong with setting boundaries online, especially in situations like this. Some people argue that it’s better to keep your distance from colleagues on the internet because it avoids putting you in an awkward position.

Imagine if you have a coworker call in sick, only to later see on social media that they weren’t actually as ill as they claimed. Would you feel compelled to rat on them to your employer, or would you be guilted into lying for the sake of your friend? Ignorance is bliss, and it can save you from being put in the middle like this.

They serve different purposes

There’s no reason to stay away from your coworkers across the whole of social media. However, it might be wise to add people dependant on the site’s purpose and what you want to give your colleagues access to. While things like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all classed as social media, they each serve different functions.

For instance, if you’re afraid of your coworkers being too nosy, you probably shouldn’t add them on Facebook. This site is typically reserved for more personal social media posts than something like Twitter. If you regularly upload photos of your day and are happy for others to see that, maybe you should limit having your colleagues as friends on Instagram alone.

In a world that’s growing increasingly connected, the internet is becoming more challenging to navigate. However, social media isn’t something that you should ever overthink, even when it comes to your coworkers. While it’s good to keep some space from them, especially if you tend to overshare online, there’s nothing wrong with extending your friendships outside of the workplace. As long as you don’t overstep your boundaries, this could actually benefit your performance in the office!