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Would you Facebook ‘friend’ your boss?

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Facebook like buttonWorkplace relationships are taking a new turn with the advent of social media, including the choice of whether to accept a friend request from your boss on Facebook.

Most people would be reluctant to befriend their supervisors on Face­­book, according to a recent study by three college professors.

Despite the use of Facebook as a marketing and networking tool, most users still rely on it primarily as a way to keep up personal relationships, the study found, and people are uncomfortable blurring the line between personal and professional.

However, members of Generation Y are more willing than their older counterparts to befriend their bosses. Dan Schawbel, author of “Promote Your­­self: The New Rules for Career Suc­­cess,” said the line between personal and professional is blurring and Gen Y members are less concerned about privacy than older generations.

The study suggests that bosses should not send their employees friend requests, to avoid potentially un­­comfortable situations, and should deny requests from their subordinates. LinkedIn is the preferred social medium for co-workers and supervisors to stay connected.

— Adapted from “When Bosses Want to be ‘Friends,’” Andrew R. McIlvaine, Human Resource Executive.

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