Is following coworkers on social media ever a good idea?

alex for kununu

Here’s the short answer: it depends on where you work.

Here’s the long answer: it depends on where you work, and on what kind of stuff you post on social. Okay, great.

But don’t take our word for it. We rounded up some Opinions Around the Internet.

CNN Money points out that you can build professional social capital via social-media relationships with coworkers. On the other hand, “if your office mates aren’t people who would understand or appreciate your after-hours lifestyle… then you have the perfect [reason] to say no.”

After-hours lifestyle. We wonder: what does CNN imagine when they imagine partying?

Fast Company makes a good point: ambiguity causes pain. “You might be friendly with a set of colleagues, but not feel like you are truly friends with them. However, they might enjoy their interactions with you and feel like you are getting to be friends.” Which can lead to misunderstandings on Facebook.

Art Markman, the writer, recommends ignoring coworkers’ friend requests. Sound, safe advice. The only problem is that he also refers to Google+ as a “major” social network. So take his advice with a grain of salt.

Finally, The Muse, The Guardian, and CNN Money (again!) collect worst-case scenarios of people getting in trouble at work for social-media blunders. You just gotta be careful out there. (And maybe don’t shoot any cats with crossbows.) It’s boring advice, but in this case it’s the best advice: in navigating this area, common sense is the only option.

There was a time when social media was more of a walled garden. In the early days of Facebook, people didn’t worry about their future bosses seeing them drunk, or—God forbid—expressing a political opinion. In 2016, few people have that luxury. But in 2016, we have Pokemon Go. So who can really complain.