Ever since I started working professionally, I made a conscious effort to carefully manage my social media presence and make sure my work and personal life remained separate. It’s not because I’m some crazy, outrageous individual outside of work, but because there’s somethings I would prefer my coworkers not to know about me, especially if I didn’t tell them.
In a day in age where social media works like an online photo book, it’s easy for a co-worker to just find you and assume they “really” know who you are. On the other hand, not everyone has your best interest and you gotta make sure your personal life doesn’t damage your work reputation. What you deem appropriate to post on your social media according to your job and position is at your discretion, but you know we’ve all been in a office situation when this happens:
Girl 1: “Terri seems tense at work, I wonder if she’s always like that.
Girl 2: “Nu uh, she is not, she be turning up on the weekends. Look at her Instagram!”
Girl 1: “Is Mary out today?”
Guy 1: “Yes, she’s out on vacation”
Girl 2:” Yea, she went to Florida with her boyfriend. Did y’all know she worked out!? Look at her body!”
Girl 1 & Girl 2: Checks Snapchat
LOL y’all know how it goes. I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I don’t like it. If I could help it, I don’t want my coworkers to know what I’m doing in my free time.
Note: Let’s me clear that I’m only referring to co-workers. These are people that you share a work space with and wave to in the hallway. If you actually made friends at work then this doesn’t apply, but if your water cooler talking buddy ask for your social media info, keep reading…
- Give your social media profiles different purposes and then decide which is for everybody and which ones are a little bit more personal and private.
For example: My Facebook is for everybody…that I actually met in real life and spent a significant amount of time with where as Instagram is a profile I usually just met but plan on connecting with them again or a networking tool.
- Don’t talk about social media in front of co-workers you don’t want to e-friend.
Now c’mon, would you dandle candy in front of a baby? If you have no intentions on knowing this person outside of work, just avoid this.
- Don’t login to Facebook at work
Or any other social media profile for that matter. Pretend they don’t exist i.e “What’s Snapchat?” I’m not sure what the people at my job think I do at work, but by the way I limit talk about any social media and after work activities I wouldn’t be surprised if they though I sold PB&J sandwiches on a Friday night.
- Limit talk about how cool your life is outside of work
They’re going to want proof and BAM here we are again, giving someone else a pity follow.
- If someone asks for your social media and it would kinda be rude to say no, (i.e your 45 plus your old manager or director) you can say, “I don’t really use (x- social media you always use) let me give you my (x-social media that is work friendly and somewhat active.)
BONUS TIP: If you already shared your social media with your co-workers whether you wanted to or not, never say anything bad about work! I take it up a notch by never talking about work period on social media (aside from saying I’m on my way, there or leaving). It may not be that serious for you but you never know who your coworker will show!
I hope this post made you laugh, it’s def meant to be more humor than fact, but social media and co-workers can be a sticky situation to figure out. At the end of the day, do what makes you comfortable and have fun with it!