Don't Facebook friend your boss

2010-02-26 07:08

New York - It is a common fear among users of Facebook and other social media around the world - how to deal with a friend request from your boss or employee.

A survey released on Thursday found that 56% of Americans say it is irresponsible to be friends with a boss and 62% say it is wrong to be friends with an employee.

But 76% believe it is acceptable to be friends with a workplace peer, according to the survey of 1 000 people by Liberty Mutual's Responsibility Project.

"When the roles change what do you do then? Do you unfriend someone if they have now been promoted to be your boss or if you're now their boss?" asked researcher Kelly Holland.

At work

"We get into some really sticky situations there in terms of what people will think is responsible," she said.

When using social media at work, 73% say it is not appropriate to update your Facebook status, 82% say you should not upload photos, 72% believe tweeting is wrong and 79% say it is not acceptable to watch online videos.

Yet 66% say it is fine to check your personal e-mail while at work.

"When people focus on responsibility, they know what the responsible thing is to do but whether they are doing that in practice or not is a different story," said Holland.

Americans are split on whether companies should review the social media profiles of job candidates with 52% saying it is appropriate and 48% saying it is unacceptable.

Parents and kids

Social media can also lead to some difficult decisions when it comes to family and relationships. 60% of those polled say that it is "completely acceptable" to unfriend an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

More than 40% of parents believe it is irresponsible to post photos of children online. 31% monitor their children's Facebook accounts and almost 70% are friends with their children on Facebook or MySpace. But 72% limit the time their children spend on social media networks.

More than 80% of parents say that teachers should not interact with students online, but they are split when it comes to whether social media should be used as evidence to punish students' behaviour.

"The social media arena is incredibly complex in terms of responsibility," Holland said.

But despite the murkiness of social media responsibility, there is one area that nearly three-quarters of Americans agree on - they think it is "egotistical and a waste of time" to develop a Facebook page for a pet.

The poll was taken January 12-15.

Read more on:    facebook  |  social networks


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24


You are active and very busy today. You may be in the mood to connect with your loved one or significant other and enjoy your more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.