QA co-worker I am friendly with recently sent me a request to connect on Facebook, but my page is private and I don’t usually add co-workers. I know she’s expecting me to approve the request. How do I let her down while keeping her as a work friend?

A: Despite how public social media is, we get to control with whom we want to connect on a few of the sites. I always advise people not to friend co-workers, bosses, and clients on Facebook, because it’s such a personal site. While you may be careful not to post controversial messages or reputation-damaging photos, your friends might, which could reflect poorly on you. Think of Facebook like your home. You wouldn’t keep your door open, allowing anyone and everyone to wander into your home, would you? The same is true for Facebook. You get to choose whom you want invite in, so to speak. So, thank your co-worker for the friend request, and then tell her that you limit Facebook to just family and very close friends, but that you’d love to connect with her on LinkedIn. Then send her a personalized connection request on that site.


Arden Clise is a business-etiquette trainer and author of Spinach in Your Boss’s Teeth: Essential Etiquette for Professional Success. Visit her website at