Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bring our Facebooks to Work Day

I once worked for a guy who was convinced that his personal life had to be fully separated from life at the office; the dude wouldn’t even tell us his wife’s name.  Seriously.  Or where he was going on vacation.  And don’t even think of mentioning politics or religion.  Of course, this was back in the day before anyone had heard of MySpace, before any of us were LinkedIn, when Oprah only cared about her books and not Twitter, and before Facebook was even a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye.  But in an age when most of us freely share significant personal information to the masses on the Internet, what’s the proper line to draw with co-workers?

Now, I’m not talking about ensuring your online “image” is work-appropriate; there are plenty of articles already addressing that topic.  I’m referring to striking the right balance between being an engaged member of your team at the office versus being that creepy dude at work.  For example, one of my guys tweeted that he was working late to get caught up.  Do I reply?  “@hardworkerdude, thanks for getting that stuff done!”  What about, “Hey, Jack, I saw you changed your Facebook status to single.  You doing ok?”  Is it acceptable to comment on a co-worker’s new Flickr album?

And what about me?  Is it appropriate to tweet when I had a tough day?  Is it ok to post personal photos of a recent vacation?  I don’t necessarily want everyone at work checking out my beach bod (term used very liberally), but what about some shots of when I’m on the bike?

I don’t want to be the aforementioned boss, but I also don’t want people on my team to think I’m too much in their personal business.  However, what’s the point of having interconnected social networks if you’re not allowed to connect with those with whom you spend 40+ hours a week?

1 comment: said...

I keep trying to have some online friends from work - but they just don't seem to be cool enough for some reason. Like seriously, I work at a freakin software company and still - no one on twitter.

It's like I work with the only bunch of software people who aren't into the internet.

Not that I would ever let them follow me on twitter anyways.