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How To Navigate The Potential Pitfalls Of Facebook

Should you 'friend' your bosses or co-workers? (CBS)

Should you ‘friend’ your bosses or co-workers? (CBS)

Vince Gerasole Vince Gerasole
Vince Gerasole serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — When it comes to friends, your parents probably told you to make good choices. But in the age of Facebook, that takes on new meaning.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole helps you sort through the angst and headaches when deciding who to friend.

On Facebook, many of us have seen our circle of friends grow.

“You friend anyone — who doesn’t want more  friends?” says sales executive Brad Filbey.

But now, Filbey doesn’t automatically add friends, after a co-worker in another city commented on a thread about his young niece.

“I thought I met this woman one time, I had lunch with her one time in the nine years I’ve been here, ” says Filbey.

So in this age of “likes” and “pokes” Filbey took a drastic cyber-step.

“I unfriended all of my co-workers and colleagues, ” he says.

At a seminar for experienced professionals using Facebook, Gerasole met those trying to be smart about friending.

“My Facebook page has always been just my network of friends starting from high school, internships that I did when I was young,” says Karina Rosada of Logan Square.

“If it’s somebody I don’t know how they know me,  I get a little hesitant, ” says Adrienne Locke.

But even with that hesitation, the singer’s friends now total nearly 500.

Journalist Tracy Samantha Schmidt has covered Facebook as a beat.  She now teaches classes for the Chicago Tribune on how to maximize your skills on Facebook.

Gerasole asked this cyber age Emily Post if it’s wise to friend co-workers?

“You should always be careful about colleagues because you want to maintain that professional boundary,” she says.

Schmidt suggests guiding them to strictly business social networks like LinkedIn.

And here’s a tricky question, should you friend your boss?

“If your boss has friended you the best thing to do is to accept the friendship and then limit what your boss can see,” says Schmidt.

You can do that through Facebook’s newer privacy settings that allow you to sort friends into groups with limited access.

Parents often wonder, should we friend our children?

“A great rule of thumb is if my kid is going to be on Facebook I want to log in as my kid because my kid could be sending private one-on-one messages that you can’t see elsewhere, ” says Schmidt.

They are guidelines for a new age, and for Filbey it’s meant a greater sense of control.

“I would say I post the same thing — I worry less, ” Filbey says.

Baby Boomers are the fastest-growing segment of Facebook users.  They’re finding the best way to stay in touch with college grandchildren is to friend them.

If you’d like to learn more about Facebook or attend one of Schmidt’s classes, click here.