Over the past couple of years, I’ve had several part time jobs at university, selling tickets, bar work, conducting interviews etc. I’ve found some of these jobs through Unitemps and some through Facebook itself. With casual jobs, usually the meetings, rotas and other important information is shared on a secret Facebook group. I like being in a work Facebook group as that way I can see who else is working on the same shift as me, other people ask questions so I don’t have to and sometimes there is group banter between co-workers.
The only thing is, to be part of one of these secret Facebook groups, you have to be added to it by the group administrator, which is always your boss. Your boss can’t add you to this group until you two are Facebook ‘friends’. It puts you in an awkward position as to be part of the group and know what’s happening, you have to accept your manager’s friend request, giving them the opportunity to look at your friends, photos, status updates, events you’re attending etc.
When you accept their request (which you ultimately have to), you’re then given that same access to give your new manager a Facebook stalk. The temptation is too much and within a week or so, you find yourself watching their ice bucket challenge, seeing the selfies of their dog and you know which restaurant they took their partner to for their anniversary. It’s too much information and potentially awkward…but you can’t decline their request, nor can you leave them in the Facebook friends buffer zone.
So what can you do?
In these situations, I’ve accepted my new manager and instantly added them to ‘Acquaintances’; this Facebook list means that you’re still friends with this person, but what they see of your profile is limited. You can change your photos, status etc privacy setting to ‘friends except acquaintances’ meaning that anyone in your acquaintances list won’t see these things. Then, I’ll unfollow them, so that their cat photos won’t appear on my news feed. Out of sight, out of mind.
It’s probably something I shouldn’t worry about as I never post anything ridiculous on Facebook. But I do have some photos on there that I only want actual friends to see. So when I finish these casual jobs, I always delete the boss as if I need to contact them for anything, I think it’s better to do it by phone or email, not over Facebook.
Afterthought: On the other hand, I have a part time job as a Team Leader and I had to add the new team members as Facebook friends to add them to the secret group for our work. I’m not sure how they felt about it, but as I’m a student I think I’m less intimidating than having a more senior ‘boss’ figure adding them. I’ve never pried into any of their profiles or stalked them because I don’t have the time and as we organise parties, I’m not going to fire them if I see a picture of them drunk.