The following is an article I wrote for The Daily Muse as a contributing writer.
It’s Thursday, you’re beating the mid-afternoon slump with some Facebook time, and you see a new friend request—from your boss.
Unfortunately, though, declining connection invitations from your colleagues, clients, or boss isn’t really an option anymore. We’re all sophisticated enough social media users to know that if we check back on a page we sent a friend request to, and we’re still not able to fully stalk it—we’ve been rejected. Ignore your co-worker or boss’ request, and you can only hide until next Monday’s staff meeting before having to endure an awkward encounter.
But, including your officemates in your online world doesn’t mean you have to share every detail of your personal life with them. In fact, please don’t. Learn from these real-life social media horror stories—and keep them from happening to you.
1. Trash-Talking on Twitter
A friend of mine was flying on an airline that also happened to be one of her clients. Her flight was cancelled, leaving her stranded, so she took to Twitter to blast the company—that’s right, the same company that pays her—for its poor service. All I can say is, your mom was right about not biting the hand that feeds you. She got a pretty hard slap on the wrist, I hear.
On Twitter, you’ve got two options—make your tweets private or make them public. If you really, really feel the need to complain about work-related things on Twitter, keep your account private and make it a rule not to let anyone remotely connected to your job follow you. (But you should still be careful, as things on the internet have ways of slipping into public eye.)
A better option: Be public, then don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss, clients, or co-workers to hear.