Social media etiquette: The do’s and the don’ts

social media etiquette

We all love the perks of social media but there can also be some downsides to this communication platform. So how do we live harmoniously with this bittersweet medium?

The best way to keep your sanity while enjoying what social media has to offer is to follow some simple social media etiquette when you are online.

  1. Speak to others online the way you would like to be spoken to. If you wouldn’t speak to a person face to face that way, don’t do it online. It’s very easy to type things behind a screen but it may have ramifications later.
  2. Be kind. It may be very tempting to make a negative comment on someone’s social media page if you don’t like what they have posted. Put yourself in their shoes…how would you feel if someone was attacking you on a picture you put on instagram, or an opinion posted on facebook?
  3. Don’t post things when you are angry as you may live to regret it later. As hard as it is, put the phone away and come back to it when you are calm.
  4. Most importantly, if your accounts are public they are in the public domain for everyone to see including future employers. Keep in mind if you do post something that you might regret later, everyone in your contacts plus others have seen it too. It is now a common practice for a recruitment consultant or employer to look at your social media accounts to see if you are a suitable candidate. What you post will often determine their opinion of you…so beware.
  5. Don’t give out your social media username and passwords to your friends/boyfriend/girlfriend. Everything may be amicable now but if you have a fight there is a risk that your friend or partner may post terrible things about you on your account. Believe me…I have seen it and it didn’t end well.
  6. Don’t post nudity or share nudity online. As well as having legal ramifications, your reputation could be ruined if it gets into the wrong hands. Teenage relationships don’t last forever and revenge porn might be the outcome of a breakup.
  7. Quality is better than quantity. Don’t accept all friend requests, especially people you don’t know. How do you know the motive of that individual? It could be an online predator or someone with ulterior motives of their own.
    Also the more “friends/followers” the more risk of people seeing what you post…good and bad.
  8. NEWSFLASH….parents look at your social media pages. How do you know that someone you want to make a good impression on in person isn’t looking at your account online and already making an opinion about you from your online activity? It may be a future partner’s parent wanting to know who this girl is their child is talking about.
  9. Don’t re-post. If you see revenge posts online giving out phone numbers, addresses etc of a particular person, delete immediately. You don’t know the situation and could be targeting an innocent person and their family. Online revenge is never okay.
  10. Don’t overshare. Oversharing personal information about yourself is never a good idea on social media. You become too easy to find if you share too much personal information.

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