Yes. Social media is a valuable tool for your website. I’ve argued for WordPress for blogs, Twitter is a short blurb 140 characters or less, Facebook is the most used social platform, Instagram is the Hipster’s photography, Tumblr…well…is for the hipsters, Youtube is for the “how-to” or funny videos, Vine is a 6 second blurb, Pinterest is for the crafters, Google + is great for “Hangouts”, LinkedIn is the professional network…There are a ton of social media websites!
But what about the etiquette of these many websites?
FreeLanceSwitch lists these discussion points:
- be respectful
- count to 10 before you respond
- treat your network separately
- update and promote accordingly
- help and promote others
Although I think these are great points, I think they are great starting points. We can never stress enough that once something is submitted to the internet, it is there forever. (Facebook has your data even if you delete it)
I really like “Count to 10 before you respond”. With every bit of social media being instantaneous, it’s easy to reply with a scathingly remark before you brain remembers your manners.
I would, however, like to remind everyone about a little thing we call “troll” on the internet.
Much like a child’s interest to “start fires” or simply create drama (or, simply, give their parents a hard time and test their patience), trolls… well…they troll. They may post highly controversial statements where they simply don’t belong. Countless times, I’ve seen people comment on Youtube videos (that have nothing to do with the video) really hateful comments just for attention and to start a wildfire of responses.
You have to learn to ignore it. There is a difference between criticism and trolling. Criticism is aimed to help, trolling is simply to aggravate someone else. Regardless of the platform, know when to spot a troll.
Tip for beginners: Check your feelings at the door. Particularly with personal Facebook accounts and connecting with your loved ones, words have the superpower of coming across to different people in different ways. The same message can be taken in several different ways over the internet. This rings true for all social media platforms. One sarcastic remark (I wish this was its own font!) can be taken the wrong way.
Not to mention, depending on your mood, sometimes you are just simply more susceptible to reading messages in a negative light.
Furthermore, realize social media is like a billboard. Whatever you discuss is open for public debate (Hence, the “like,” “comment,” “reply” tools readily available on social media).
If you didn’t want it up for public debate, you shouldn’t have put it on a platform to give other people the ability to share their opinions in a public setting.
- Think twice before you post
- Don’t be a humblebragger.
Lastly, just because you’re hidden behind a computer screen of whatever size, don’t forget the manners your mother taught you. Although its hard to believe, real people just like yourself with real feelings do actually exist here on the internet.
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