The Boss: Your Best 'Friend' Forever Online?

In this week’s HR Strange but True!, we are running a story about bosses asking workers to be their “friends” on Myspace and Facebook.  Have you faced that awkward situation of having to accept or reject a friend request from a boss or colleague?  If not, what would you do if faced with such a scenario? Let us know about your work-related experiences with the sites. If we get enough good stories, we’ll include them in a future HR Strange but True! column.




  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I admit I would probably go the path of least resistance--and most personal sacrifice--by scrubbing my webpage to take off anything embarassing and accepting the request.  Then again, it really shouldn't be considered much of a sacrifice to take down pictures of yourself consuming alcohol in funny looking or revealing clothes (or no clothes!) when really, do all your online "friends" need to see that anyway?  These types of pictures are probably best reserved for a close-knit circle of friends you see in person!  Putting any embarassing soft copy photos of yourself on the internet sort of takes away your control of how it's used and who sees it anyway...

     But that aside, I'd rather just suck it up and let my boss list his/herself as my friend on MySpace regardless of how I felt about's not worth alienating him/her if you value your job!

  • this is absolutely bizzare. first, i think that it's strange that a boss would be looking for his or employees on line anyway. on the other hand, you put yourself out there when you join myspace/facebook, so you have to deal with who finds you!!
  • Anyone who posts photos on Myspace and Facebook should learn a lesson from Miss New Jersey.  If you don't want a photo made public, don't post it.

    In Colchester, Connecticut, a Boy Scouts of America Assistant Scoutmaster posted photos of himself lighting a bong while attending a college party on his Myspace page.  The Connecticut Rivers Council removed his name from their charter.  His parents pointed the finger at the person who reported him and couldn't believe that someone was doing this to him.  Getting caught posting a photo on either site and having it made public DOES NOT make you the victim.  You have done this to yourself.

     Any boss who is requesting to be a friend of an employee needs to get a life......try reading the Wall Street Journal online instead.  

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  • As part of my background check process on all applicants/potential new employees, I search myspace and other various social networking systems.  I know that there is a growing trend for employers to check-up on their employees habits via these social network sites.  What people need to remember is if you want to keep something private simply don't post it!  We are entering a new age of employer social monitoring. After the background checks, when my new hires start, I fully inform them that as part of our background check process I have checked their "myspace" pages and give them the heavy warning that, if they have not already done so, in the future, they make want to change the viewability of their profile to "private".  I have no interest in snooping into the lives of my employees or handing out friend requests. But I would like to get an idea of their character before I bring them aboard and what better way to get to know someone than their uncensored self perspectives.
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