This article is by Charles Purdy, Senior Editor of Monster .
We recently asked visitors to Monster.com, “Do you typically connect with your coworkers on Facebook?”
Here’s what they had to say:
- Yes: I connect with my coworkers; my Facebook is an open book. 6%
- Yes: I connect with my coworkers, but I limit what they can see. 4%
- Sometimes: I connect selectively with coworkers that I become friends with. 24%
- No: I keep my work life and my private life separate. 39%
- No: I’m not on Facebook. 26%
(Total respondents: 1,178)
Setting aside the 26% who said they don’t use Facebook, that means about 9% of people make no distinction between coworkers and close friends — everyone sees the same posts on their Facebook page.
Most people, however, are a bit more circumspect. Again, setting aside the non-Facebookers, 53% of respondents say they keep a wall between their private and personal lives.
Which tactic is wiser? That really depends on you and what you like to post on Facebook. Monster’s BeKnown professional networking app is for people who prefer to be at least a little selective — but who also recognize that Facebook can be a very good place to do professional or semi-professional networking.
In our free ebook, Monster’s Guide to Online Networking (a great resource you can download and share with your network today), we discussed how to negotiate the gray area between friend and colleague. Here’s an excerpt:
Many people balk at the notion that they have to be “all business” on their favorite social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — they feel that these platforms should be about self-expression and free speech.
And that’s true — but it’s also true that these platforms are stages, and they put the whole world in front of you as your audience. This isn’t to say, however, that you have to turn your “performance” into a bland recitation of the news. You don’t have to be all business. But think of it this way: There are things you tell your boss, things you tell your parents, and things you tell your best friends. What you put online should fall into all three categories — because by putting something online, you are in effect doing that.
All of these people can safely hear about your hobbies, your kids’ activities, your home-improvement ventures, books you’re reading, your high Scrabble scores (earned outside of work hours!), your thoughts on your favorite TV show, and so on. They can all see photos of your vacation, your new puppy, your friends celebrating your birthday at a restaurant, and so on. Also, all of these people should be reading about your successes and activities at work—this goes back to establishing your professionalism as part of your “personal brand”
Online behavior requires that you employ a bit of restraint — like just about all activities that involve interacting with other people.
What do you think about connecting with coworkers on Facebook? Share your thoughts in the Comments section — and like Monster on Facebook, to receive daily job-search and career-advice updates.