Your Boss Wants to Friend You on Facebook. What if You’d Rather Resist?

Your Boss Wants to Friend You on Facebook. What if You’d Rather Resist?

Send your workplace conundrums to workologist@nytimes.com, including your name and contact information (even if you want it withheld). The Workologist is a guy with well-intentioned opinions, not a professional career adviser. Letters may be edited.

I just received a Facebook friend request from my newish immediate supervisor. I’d rather not accept it.

I don’t particularly like the direction this new boss is taking our office, nor do I care for his management style. But really, even if I liked him enormously, I think his request is creepy, and oversteps his role.

Still, he was put in the position by the big global company that recently acquired our small firm, and while in theory we will still have a lot of independence I know that in reality this new manager will have a lot of influence.

Right now my plan is to not address the request directly unless he brings it up in person. What are your thoughts?

ANONYMOUS

It’s a slight gamble, but for now you can probably just ignore the request. It sounds like a pro forma gesture on his part, and maybe he’ll forget. But in case he does bring it up, or if you just want to resolve this in a more definitive way, there are a couple of things you should do.

Most important, take this as a handy prompt to make sure you are totally on top of your Facebook privacy settings. You can exercise a fair amount of control over who sees what you post — but if, like many Facebook users, you’ve never bothered to look into that, you’ll have to make an effort. Now is the time. You can find detailed guides online to help you, but at a minimum look for “privacy checkup” under the “help center” icon on your Facebook home page.

While you’re at it, do the same for every social media account you have. Understand the privacy settings and how to adjust them. Even if you are determined to remain permanently unconnected to this manager, you’re better off knowing exactly how to mute, block or otherwise control and limit your online audience.

If the new boss brings this subject up later — or you just want to clear the air — you will have your social media house in order. And probably the best course of action depends on how, and how much, you actually use such services.

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