BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE EXISTS
There was a time not too long ago when people didn’t share as much as they do now with the rest of the world. Many of us went through our daily lives only staying in touch with people we truly valued and forgot about the ones that came through our lives and out as fast as revolving doors. Social media completely changed all that. All of a sudden, we were thrown back into reconnecting with people we hadn’t talked to in years and started inviting a whole new batch of people into our lives – aka our WhatsApp, Meta (Facebook) and Instagram friends besides X (Twitter) and LinkedIn followers, among a raft of other such sites.
The downside in posting on Social Media platforms has been well documented. People constantly check their phones for new messages or updates. Social media is addictive and can consume time that you may not have, forcing a tightening of schedule. There is the appalling lack of privacy on most sites as social media is public by nature. It is also victim to a ripple effect as a message is reposted in a background different from the original. Who is to stop access to content posted on social media without prior notice or permission from the user who originally posted it?
One school of thought says Social Media Etiquette involves understanding and following the unwritten rules and expectations of online communication to promote positive interactions and maintain a respectful and productive online environment. Adhering to social media etiquette helps create a positive and inclusive online environment, fostering healthy and respectful interactions between individuals and communities. It promotes effective communication, reduces misunderstandings, and encourages the development of meaningful connections and relationships.
On the other hand, there is the belief that Social Media makes us more self-centred, less empathetic and rude to others. It also makes us more narcissistic than ever because we can show off our achievements and post photos from parties without facing consequences.That said, there is no need to fan or ignite flames by providing material data that can cause otherwise rational people to butt in and sow discord. You can help yourself by following certain precepts.
Here are the four things you should never discuss when using social media.
It might be exciting and thrilling whenever you get into a new loving relationship, yet make sure to always keep the details of your love life personal. Sure, people don’t mind scrolling through your photo albums seeing pictures of you and your partner together, but the last thing they want to hear about is how much you love each other and can’t live without each other through status updates and tweets. Inevitably, there is a chance your relationship might not work out, and the last thing you want is to make a fool of yourself for being so outspoken about something that didn’t last.
Whenever you’re going through tough times, it might be tempting to tell your whole Social Media world about it, but here is a harsh truth: people don’t want to hear about your personal problems. These sites were intended to keep connected, not to dish out free group therapy sessions. Things like losing a job, going through a divorce, and filing for bankruptcy happen to a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean we should go around telling the world about our sorrows. Do your best to keep things like this off Social Media because eventually you’ll get through those tough times and wonder why they were such a big deal in the first place. You don’t want a reminder of your unhappy days to be documented for you and the whole world to see.
It astounds me how many individuals find it necessary to share their political beliefs with the rest of the world. As if it isn’t bad enough that the mainstream media can’t say enough about it, users of media sites have to chime in with their thoughts as well. Keep in mind, what you say about political candidates most likely isn’t going to change the way somebody feels about their established political beliefs, so keep it reeled in. It’s easy to get fired up about political candidates, especially when it’s this close to election time; however, by keeping your opinions to yourself, you’ll be able to stay out of some hectic social media rants.
We all have bad days, but before the creation of Facebook and Twitter, those bad days were normally things we kept to ourselves. In the moment, our anger can seem completely justified, but just remember that things will eventually cool down. If you are enraged about something, try not to get on Social Media to tell the world about it. It may seem harmless at first, but the storm will eventually calm down and you might regret some things you say, especially if they are derogatory about a friend, your career, your love life, etc. Before there was ever Facebook or Twitter, we embraced the expected normalcies that came along with human interaction. Do yourself a huge favour and remember these four rules of social media etiquette whenever you next log on to your Social Media sites.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones