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Sticky Situation: Should You Accept Your Boss's Facebook Invitation?

07/09/2015 12:44 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT
jdillontoole via Getty Images

Sticky Situation:

For any employee of the digital era, this is the question that kills: To "accept" or not accept, the boss' Facebook invitation.

Even if you get along great, are you ready for her to have a front row seat on your daily life? What will you do if you click "Confirm," and on a Sunday morning, while you are sipping your latté and looking at your news feed, she sends you a private message with an urgent issue? And what will happen if you hit "Delete Request"?

Not an easy decision, is it?

Solution(s):

The evolution of communication technologies provides flexibility. You can work from anywhere on the planet, at any time of the day. The result? The valley between your personal and professional lives has narrowed. It has now become a crystal clear lake.

Your masks are falling in that limpid water.

You play different roles: parent, spouse, friend, brother, sister and employee.

Are you ready to share these facets, your current backstage and even your experimental youth?

Now, what of that famous invitation?

The choice is yours. However, deleting the request might be hard to explain or it may exclude you from certain conversations, especially if all your other team members have accepted her invitation.

If you work in a trendy media start up and your responsibilities require you to be present on social media, it is almost your duty to accept.

If you work in a more conservative firm and are a pretty private person, depending on your boss and relationship, ignoring the invitation could work .

Another possibility is to "Confirm" and then adjust your privacy settings to limit her access.

If you accept, by professional politeness, you may first need to clean up your wall, advise some of your friends and adjust your sharing settings.

Also, before gleefully announcing to your 243 other friends, that you took a sick day (a very well deserved one, you believe), to go play golf, remember Ms. Boss is watching you. Of course, I am exaggerating. But, a dismissed employee with a Facebook proof is not an urban legend. Perhaps you know of someone that heard "You're fired!" because of a Facebook post?

Although in some business sectors, being Facebook friends is favourable for business relationships, initiating this invitation is generally not recommended, neither as an employee or a boss. As you can see by reading this post, it could be embarrassing to you and/or the other. It could even negatively impact your professional image. Your career depends on it. Think it through before inviting.

Regardless of whether you accept, decline or ignore, remember the famous The Social Network scene and Erica Albright, Mark Zuckerberg's ex-girlfriend's words: "The Internet is not written in pencil, Mark, it's written in pen."

Before posting, avoid embarrassment and do the "Two fridge test" as described in this previous post.

What would, or did, you do? Write to me on Facebook.

You have a sticky situation at work or at home? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions to sticky situations? Go to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Planning a conference? Julie happily travels coast to coast and beyond, to present customized activities. With Julie's help, farewell faux pas and embarrassment. Hello confidence & credibility!

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