Awareness of social media etiquette has not kept in pace with the astronomical rise in its use. It does not help that the rules and social guidelines in the virtual worlds are different from those in the real. To complicate matters further, each virtual world has its own ecosystem, so to speak, and set of behavioral expectations. There are, however, some common sense rules that are easy to follow (and unfortunately, forget).
- Information we share about ourselves in public can be used against us. IKeepSafe reports that “nearly 40% of Internet users between the ages of 18-35 have regretted posting personal information about themselves”.
- Respecting other people’s privacy: Being granted access to a friend’s phone number does not grant one the freedom to spread the information to others.The same holds good to posting photos that include other people
- Taking “no” for an answer: It is ok for whatever reason for your contact to not want to be in a group you started (yes, it still smarts) or in a group photo you want to post online.
- Imposition: Having 1259 selfies during your summer vacation does not entitle you to impose them on all and sundry. Neither is it fair to get offended if the friend did not “like” the photos as many times as you had expected.
- “Friending”: When adding a friend from the past to a social media account, always follow it with a personal message to them.
- The personal touch: I know from experience that when someone tells me something in person, I remember it better than an announcement I read in a social media page.
These are only few of the etiquettes to be followed in social media. The one rule that supersedes and encompasses all of the above guidelines is to pause, reflect and then post on social media to make social media a pleasant place for all in it.
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