General Question

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Have you ever un-friended coworkers en masse on Facebook?

Asked by hiphiphopflipflapflop (6093points) August 12th, 2010

I have my immediate supervisor as a FB-friend (added during a period I was laid off) so as you can imagine this encourages a degree of serious self-censorship when I post anything and I am getting tired of it. I am considering referring all current and past co-workers I don’t consider real personal friends to my LinkedIn profile and dropping them on Facebook. Has anybody out there done this? Any advice on how to break this news to them to avoid any hurt feelings?

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12 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

Highly recommended. I have made a point of not being friends with any of my co-workers. I’ve ignored friend requests and instead told people in person that I prefer not to share my online life with co-workers. Most people get it. This way there’s no obligation to be friends and censor things.

This all came up when my old boss’ daughter (about 10) saw pictures of her mom drinking with a group of us from the office on a trip to New York. It was weird, and the boss went around and de-friended everyone she worked with.

Referring professional people to LinkedIn is definitely a better way to go. People are starting to become more and more wary of how much information is available online, and I have yet to have someone be offended when I explain that.

theichibun's avatar

Just do it and don’t bother explaining unless asked. Most people will assume it’s for the reasons you’re doing it for. I’ll bet a good number of them won’t even notice.

soozaloozakpow's avatar

I have. I started a new job a couple of years ago and, not wanting to offend my new co-workers, soon had 50 or so new workplace friends (they accessed my profile through my friend who I also worked with). I struggled with the extreme personality differences between myself and my co-workers. The majority were hardcore Type A personalities and not very tolerant of Type B’s, like myself. I also quickly learned the work environment was highly toxic, with disgruntled staff, bullying, gossip, backstabbing, and was teeming with rumours. Wanting to control the means used for the active probing of staff into my personal life, I deactivated my account. This wasn’t a hard step for me as the novelty of Facebook had passed and it held little interest for me. About 4 months later, after accidently re-activating my account (and realizing it is nearly impossible to completely cut facebook ties), I decided I should not let these people I did not like or have much respect for dictate my life away from work. I de-friended them all in one clean sweep and spent an evening updated my “blocked people” list.
I should have been smarter about my Facebook related decisions from the get go. The new job was at a federal prison (not sure how I found myself there!) and was warned during my training that staff’s facebook pages were frequently monitored and content and friends should be carefully considered. The consequences of higher ups seeing something unbecoming, suggestive, conflicting with personal info they have about you, and so on can be significant.
Even when there is little risk of harm to a person from mixing facebook with work and relationships with co-workers are amiable, I think its important to keep one’s job separate from life away from work. It helps to ensure healthy boundaries and decreases the likelihood of work permeating other areas of life.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@soozaloozakpow Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with anything like that at my workplace! I just want the ability to express my true opinions on politics and my work and not have to worry about blowback.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@Mamradpivo One co-worker of mine left Facebook completely after seeing party photos posted by another co-worker. He decided he did not want to ever be in the position of having to either ignore or report inappropriate behavior.

augustlan's avatar

Some people have multiple facebook accounts, too. One for friends (i.e. the real account), and one for family and/or coworkers.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You could also move all the coworkers to a group and restrict the access to what they can and cannot see.

rawrgrr's avatar

Listen, add your coworkers in a List then edit what that group of people can see in privacy settings (statuses, albums, etc) and they’ll never know! I have lists for everything and I never need to delete anyone.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@BarnacleBill and @rawrgrr I already have them on a list, was unaware they could be used to do that. Thanks. Might still cut them anyway, cause I find fiddling with these settings to be flakey.

rawrgrr's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop Well I love it. I even have my old school teachers and my whole family on Facebook. I hide certain albums for certain people, make info like adress and number only visible to family and I hide status updates from parents. For example I could be like “Awesome party last night!” and you could make it so your parents see instead “Fun time at the library!”

wundayatta's avatar

I have a friend who got in trouble because she had friended the boss. She wrote an opinion about something vaguely related to her work. I don’t know if it was her status or something responding to someone else. But her boss read it, and called her on the carpet.

The boss said that if any client every caught wind of this, the company would be sued or lose business, so she should never do it again. My friend belatedly defriended a lot of coworkers. But now she’s paranoid and won’t write anything of consequence on fb. Too bad.

I wonder how many people have false identities they use to speak to people when they don’t want to have it come back to them. I used to have such an account. But it’s gone now. I don’t think it would be possible to reactivate it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yep, just yesterday.

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