Social Media Etiquette: Most Important Tips to Keep in Mind, Always.
Did you know that 58 percent of the Philippine population are active users of social media? That means more than half of the country’s population—and nearly half of the world—may see what you post publicly on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
If social media were physical, how would you imagine it to be? With all the unchecked rage-venting, cyberbullying, and public ranting and fighting, it certainly wouldn’t look good—a lot more terrifying to think about than a hypothetical third world war.
The truth is, even though all we do is sit and browse and type on our smartphones, whatever we do on social media can still have serious repercussions in real life. Whatever you say on social media can inflict more hurt on other people than a slap in the face can. Whatever you share can have a reflection of your image as a person. So, even if you’re safely tucked in your blanket at the corner of your bed, you can’t be immune to the consequences of the inappropriate and irresponsible use of social media.
If you want to remain peacefully tucked in your bed and make the world (both physical and digital) a better place to live in, observe these social media etiquette tips the next time you open your Facebook or Twitter account.
Think before you click.
It’s a cliche, yes! But I won’t hesitate to say it again: think before you click! It seems people just need reminding every now and then.
Remember that what you post on your wall can have an effect on people, including yourself. Always ask these questions before you click the “Post” button: Am I okay with people seeing this? Is the information I’m sharing true and valuable? How does this reflect me as a person?
Do not engage in public fights.
Unless it is a formal debate or an intellectual exchange of arguments that are (take note) rational, calm and based on facts, do not engage in a public fight or spread hate on social media. I know, I know—it’s frustrating to see tasteless rants and out-of-this-world comments on some posts. But would you really rather step down to that level than keep your calm as a fine civilized man or woman?
Just remember the great Mark Twain’s words: “Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
Verify the news/information that you share.
Journalist or not, you are responsible for the information that you share on social media. Not being a “journalist” doesn’t justify impulsive sharing of unverified news from unverified sources. While you certainly have the right to freedom of speech, that doesn’t excuse you from sharing false information online.
Do not share unverified information, especially when it involves sensitive issues like security threats, scandals, and deaths. When voicing out your opinions publicly, make sure that you are not stepping on someone else.
Choose who you connect with wisely.
“Tell me who your Facebook friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Yup, that’s the modern-day adage now.
You have a lot of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. That’s nice. But do you actually know who they are? It’s not a bad thing to grow your online network, but it’s important that you still take caution when adding friends or accepting followers on your social media accounts. Take the time to check if they are real and decent people. Beware that there are fake profiles, internet trolls, and identity thieves lurking somewhere on the Internet.
Do not overshare.
People don’t expect you to share the color of your socks, every bite of your pizza and literally everything on social media. Most especially, be careful not to share more sensitive information like passwords (or anything that gives hints), your IDs, and secrets your friend whispered to you just five minutes ago.
Remember the good ol’ diary where you can privately write just about anything? It’s old-school but diaries are still at the bookstores! They’re safer.
Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño