Facebook friend your boss? Americans say no

Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:49am EST
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - 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 percent of Americans say it is irresponsible to be friends with a boss and 62 percent say it is wrong to be friends with an employee.

But 76 percent 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," said researcher Kelly Holland.

"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 percent say it is not appropriate to update your Facebook status, 82 percent say you should not upload photos, 72 percent believe tweeting is wrong and 79 percent say it is not acceptable to watch online videos.

Yet 66 percent say it is fine to check your personal email 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.   Continued...