We’re aware of table manners. We know how to say thank you (at least quite a handful of us) to express gratitude. We know that talking loud in a library is a big no-no. So why is it that many of us do not really know how to behave when using social media? Okay. There’s probably no standard rule for this one but simply because it’s generic does not mean that we can’t try to be better social media users, right?
It’s time, now more than ever, for us to stop a second and think before we post something on Facebook. Give a second thought before tweeting and assess your words before you comment on Instagram. You know… simple things like that can cause problems which are anything but simple. Social media is so advent these days that we discover more and more of people’s characters through them. The problem isn’t social media but rather the users. Whether we’re on Whatsapp or any other mobile application, we should know that there are boundaries to everything.
There’s probably many materials on this issue but here’s my take on it.
How to be better social media users
- Spare some thoughts and emotions
Since everything is just a click away, I get it that it can be very tempting to spill every detail on Twitter. But really, most people don’t want to know the gory details of your life. Do you really think that your fight with your girlfriend or boyfriend would make good social content? Revealing things like that via social media not only annoys those who read the stuff but it puts you down that much lower. I mean, what about dignity and your own privacy?
- Respect the privacy of others
You know how people always go “there’s a time and place for everything”? That statement can never be more suitable for what I’m about to say. Take WhatsApp for instance. Really, that app isn’t 7-Eleven. It shouldn’t be running 24 hours for the love of God. It’s fine to chill and chat but it’s a little overboard to drag conversations to the wee hours of the morning. A mute option you say? Yes, that drowns out the notification sounds but they still appear on the screen. And… what about the flood of messages upon waking up in the morning? Let’s share the privacy that we all deserve by not sharing any pictures, messages or jokes at inappropriate times. Pamper yourself. Go to bed.
- Think about thoughts and emotions
Yet another etiquette that shouldn’t even need to be reminded. It’s probably one of the most basic forms of manners. We don’t like people saying things that offend us. So how is it okay that we can tease others without thinking about what those words might lead to? It’s perfectly alright to joke around but have some consideration. A joke is still a joke when it doesn’t embarrass someone. And it’s a big no-no to use something you personally know about a person to tease someone’s photo or status. Would you really want to lose your friendship over something that unimportant?
- Verify, not magnify
It’s good to have a dream, the drive to provide information. It’s a good goal to be a reporter. But seriously, when it comes to social media, why not leave it the professional. Even if you want to share a news or something you found somewhere – a blog, forum, portal, etc – , you need to make sure that what you’re about to share is valid. Simply reading it and passing along that information is irresponsible. What if the details are not accurate? Worse, what if you sharing it causes someone to do something based on wrong information? Sorry to say but many social media users these days fail to acknowledge that and go around sharing like nobody’s business. Always verify if you wish to share something. Don’t magnify something just because you want to be the first to tell the others. There’s no Grammy award for you…
Many of you who read this would definitely be able to add on. When it comes to social media, it’s a never-ending discussion. So let me stop here. Like a said, there’s a limit to everything. 🙂