What? I asked my student. Why? Are we even friends? I laughed as I said this and he did too. 🙂 I said, well we aren’t friends, are we? No, we aren’t, he said. And that was it. End of discussion. So as not to offend him, I said but please do add me in the professional networking site. He said he will and walked off sheepishly.
As a rule, I usually beg off from accepting invitations on Facebook from students and colleagues at work (or current bosses!). But that’s just me. And here’s why:
I want to keep the relationship professional, as in mentor and mentee. I’m also quite private and do not want people knowing where I went, what I’ve been busy with, what my dogs look like, or what I looked like as a kid.
I want to keep a certain distance between me and my boss, and colleagues at work. I think that this allows for a healthier relationship in the work place. Don’t get me wrong. I’m actually a friendly person and I’m friends with all my previous bosses, two of whom are my FB friends. (The other one is too busy and square to bother with FB. 🙂 ) In my experience, current bosses/colleagues are a different matter because one is bound to have disagreements in the work place. Being friends on social media sometimes complicates things.
When I leave the work place, that’s when I usually accept these friend invitations. But I’m also quite choosy too. Again, this is just me. A millennial friend of mine once said that we have pseudo friends on FB and she’s right! Many are really not friends in the truest sense of the word, and just acquaintances.
FB has since evolved from a social networking site to an online sharing platform where people tend to overshare every single detail of their lives. I’m a lurker on FB. Sometimes, I post when there’s something interesting to share. Usually, I get tagged in photos. (For a comms person, I’m bad at documentation.) I also use FB for keeping tabs of family and friends living in other parts of the world. My select group of friends in FB are mostly the friends I grew up with, laughed and cried with, and fought life battles with. To each his own, I guess.