Do You Mix Work and Play on Social Media?


Do you friend your co-workers, or stay far, far away?

How Social Media Has Complicated Work Relationships says, “All workers have to consider their social-network relationships as they develop their careers and network at the office.”

For me, those lines are certainly disappearing.

I’m not online just because it’s fun. My job involves strategy, campaigns, research, and engagement, though all you may ever see is a tweet or brand page update. That’s the end product.

The deliberation that goes into it takes far more work. I’m not saying the process doesn’t become almost effortless the more you do it, but if I don’t keep all the tenets of our brand, ethics, philosophy, and message foremost in my head, well, we’ve all seen what happens to hapless employees for sending that one stupid tweet.

But social media makes things so easy. Easy to cross-post things from my work accounts to my personal accounts or vice versa because I think they’re cool, helpful, or relevant. Easy to find people who do what I do. Easy to engage.

And it’s easy to friend work people on my personal Facebook, because friends will find me out there as a result of what I do no matter if they have a “work” or “personal” designation.

While I do try to have a very conscious, think-before-I-click moment when I friend work people on my personal Facebook, I have to say, sometimes I just get tired. I relax my rigid rules because I’m out there all day, and can’t exactly ignore the fact that my job still exists at night. I’m still all up on privacy, but I’ve grown used to short cuts.

I do feel lucky to have work friends that have become real friends, the kind you don’t mind seeing outside of work. But is there a risk in letting work and play mix?

Mind you, it’s never a good idea to complain about work online; last week I read about a coworker who thoughtfully printed out someone’s ranty Facebook posts and handed them to their boss. You just never know for sure what people are thinking behind their screens.

But outside of that–do you friend co-workers on your personal accounts? Why or why not?

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