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Social Media Etiquette

When Emily Post was writing her manner's book, social media didn't exist.  With each decade comes new discoveries and new habits formed by society.  With this usually comes the need to set some guidelines and rules of conduct surrounding these new gadgets and such.

Social media is definitely in it's infancy, although it has grown by leaps and bounds in just the past two to three years.  Now people say "post it to Facebook," "pin it," "text it," etc.

Let's discuss a few etiquette considerations we might want to consider when using social media:

1.  Don't be a me, myself and I poster.  This means that every post on Facebook should not be about you and what you're doing, what you're wearing, what you're thinking, etc.  Post things about others, great news about family, or cool community events to go to -- just anything other than all about you.

2.  Never, never, never post pictures of others without their permission unless you are certain they would absolutely love the picture.  Often I see people post pictures they're in and they look great, but the other people in the picture have their eyes closed or have a funny face, etc.  Everyone should look great in the picture if you're going to post it for the whole world to see.

3.  Don't invite people to join too many "causes."  It's important to pick and choose the causes you want to invite your friends to support so you don't wear them out with silly or repetitive invitations.

4.  Don't use foul language on social media.  Yes, this is a FREE country, and yes, we have freedom of speech in this country, but it's not polite to just assume that we have no obligation to protect children or others from obscene posts when they haven't asked to see them.

5.  Never post really bad news like a family death or family tragedy on a social media site until you are sure that all appropriate phone calls have been made first.  It is really hurtful to find out through social media that a close family member or friend has passed away and no one took the time to call to let you know personally.

6.  Remember that everything we post is permanent.  Even if you delete it later, you can never be certain that it's deleted everywhere.  Think before you hit that post button, "is what I'm about to post going to cause hurt, misunderstanding, or anger to others?"  If so, wait one hour, and if you still want to post, then be prepared for consequences if you proceed.

Social media is a wonderful way for friends and family to stay connected.  Be sure you're sensitive to others when sharing information, remembering that we should be ladies and gentlemen at all times, even on Facebook.


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