23.05.2024

How do I decline my boss's friend request on social media?

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Olga Lukinova Author of the book and Telegram channel Digital Etiquette.

Is it generally appropriate to add colleagues, bosses and subordinates as friends? Depends on three factors:

  • your relationship with the person (they are warm, informal and you can communicate not only on work issues);
  • your approach to maintaining the page (your profile open on the social network, you post not only for your mother and close friends, but also use the page for business contacts);
  • the corporate culture of the organization in which you work (you have a democratic company where it is accepted that employees communicate with each other not only at the workplace, but also in social networks, and some issues are resolved in chats and instant messengers).
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    If all three points match, then you can safely add colleagues as friends. If at least one of the statements is doubtful, then it may be worth rejecting such an offer of friendship on social networks.

    If your boss or colleague sends you a friend request that you don't want to accept, you can explain the rejection like this:

    • “My page is only for family and friends.”
    • “Let's make friends on another social network – it is more suitable for work contacts.”
    • “I would like to maintain privacy on social networks.”
    • “I only have raccoon cats there/recipes for pies/cars/photos of children – I don’t want to burden you with this.”
    • “I hardly go to the social network and I’m afraid that if you write to me there, I won’t be able to respond promptly.”
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    You can not explain the refusal, but simply ignore the request – do not reject it, but do not accept it either. Then you can add the manager as a friend whenever you see fit.

    If you successfully rejected the request of the boss, still don't relax: content even from a closed account may be available to everyone. If your manager sees stupid memes, then this is not such a tragedy, but writing something like “I hate my job and my boss” is definitely not worth it even on a private page.