Welcome to the last post of my blog series on social media. Just a quick recap before we get down to the nitty-gritty of etiquette. *curls finger on teacup* Wait, wrong etiquette…
After “An Introduction of Sorts” where I laid out what exactly I was gonna be talking about, we thought through some good social media goals together. This post was one of my favorites since it laid the foundation for everything. 😉 After that was super fun post about choosing platforms, one on embracing safeguards, and another on time management. (*blushes* I still struggle with this one. Forever, probably.)
And now it’s etiquette time! *drops a curtsy*
Okay, not that kind. But it’s similar. Basically this: I need to act as politely and God-honoring-ly as I would in face-to-face interaction. The “rules” aren’t different just because it’s on a computer. Here are just a few specifics I’ve identified for myself…
- Think before you post. Everyone says to do this, and I tend to think that’s it’s just another one of those sayings; but it’s actually quite invaluable. 😀 I’ve saved myself a lot of unnecessary drama by refraining from posting something or backspacing that witty put-down that flashed into my mind. If I wouldn’t say it in person, in front of others, and in front of Christ, guess what? They’re all on social media. The rules don’t change. 😉
- Also, think after you post. This is something I’ve been learning a lot lately! I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked back at a post and found a horrendous typo. This could be my own faulty proofreading eye or an overeager autocorrect, but looking one last time after it posts never hurt anyone. 😉
- Think about how your actions will affect others. I’ve been blessed with a pretty great batch of social media friends! 😀 Still, some days when they share news articles they are angry about, react to something I never wanted to see, or argue loudly in public comments, I just want to hide and throw my computer out the window. Even some of the most uplifting communities I’ve been in have those days. I’m learning to be very conscious about how what I say affects others. Everything is pretty public, after all. 😉 If I’m shocked or angry about something, do I want others to have to experience the same emotions too?* My friend and fellow author blogger Sarah Holman wrote a great post on her opinion of internet negativity. I encourage you to check it out.
- Internet eavesdropping (a.k.a. “stalking”) is not cool. The internet is public, but people don’t often think of it that way. If I’m not officially friends with someone, researching every aspect of their lives is the equivalent of eavesdropping on a very loud conversation. I often find that, if I’m researching random people, it’s time to either get off the computer (I’m obviously bored) or to remind myself to stop looking for juicy gossip details.
- Keep sensitive issues private. I don’t mean details like your SS number or your birthday (I already covered that in the safeguards one). Instead I mean disagreements, requests for apologies, and the like. Instead of telling someone that they are wrong and I’m right in front of the entire digital world, I need to “go and tell him his fault” privately. (See Matthew 18) This keeps things a lot calmer and can actually lead to a great healing and clarifying conversation. I’ve experienced this firsthand! A lot of drama tornadoes can be easily avoided by humility and privacy. 😉
That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for going on this social media series journey with me!
What are some etiquette rules you wish more people would follow? How can you incorporate these more into your social media interactions?