Last week in my social media class at San Jose State University taught by professor Michael Brito, we discuss whether employees should be Facebook friends with their bosses and vice versa. Days later, news broke out that a Camp Pedleton’s Sergeant Gary Stein has been placed on the Marine Corps review board and is being recommend for other-than-honorable discharged after he made a number of disparaging comments towards President Barrack Obama. He made comments such as Obama=Hitler and made a Facebook group to criticize the president. I am torn on this issue because everyone has a right to express their thoughts (the First Amendment), but does being an employee really strip you of that right?In my opinion, being Facebook friends or communicating any other way outside of the workplace should not be a problem for the employee or boss. Even in the military, where soldiers are held to a higher standard, they are able to do and say what they want when they are not in uniform. In the case of Sgt. Stein he was in uniform and was still serving. As in a normal workplace, when you are working, you should not be posting on Facebook, tweeting, blogging, or using any other social media sites unless you are allowed or your job requires you to do so. When you leave the workplace however you can do what ever you want. As a boss, you would want your employee to work together in and outside of the work place. By not “friending” them or communicating with them how is that a good example of building team chemistry? For me, leading by example is very important. If you are want people to act professional, then you should act professional. I believe that if you reject someone simply because they are your boss, co-worker, or employee, you are the one acting unprofessionally. You are the one who can’t distinguish what is personal and what isn’t, and would like to blame the other person for it. Just because they are your boss, employee, or co-worker, it does not mean that they can’t be your friend.
The issue has been bothering me since last class, because I feel not wanting to know the private life of the other person is not a good excuse. Either you like the other person or you don’t but being a boss, co-worker, or employee should have nothing to do with it. Peter Bella of the Washington Times said “There is a long-standing policy and tradition in the military of respecting rank. You do not have to respect the person holding the rank, but you must respect the rank they hold.” I believe that this should also hold true in the workplace and if you don’t like a person you still have to respect them because of the title they hold. This does not mean that you should cut them out of your life if you aren’t working, but know how to manage private and personal life. I believe if you don’t want to communicate with an employee, boss, or co-worker through social media outlets, don’t blame it on working with a person because you want to be professional. Quite frankly that excuse is unprofessional.