As social media becomes more of a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, I think it’s important to understand some unwritten rules. Social media’s sole purpose is to share information by connecting with others. It can be a very powerful platform for social change and spreading awareness, but it has also been known as a place where people introduce us to their alter egos. If you portray yourself online the same way you do when someone cuts you off while driving – it’s time for a social media makeover.
I spent the last two weeks asking friends, colleagues, family and strangers what they dislike most about social media’s alter ego’s and what etiquette tips they would like to share. Below are some of my results.
You know you need a social media makeover when:
- You post negative comments about your relationship, marriage or family problems. This, not surprisingly, was the number one complaint. It’s not necessary to air your dirty laundry on social media. It makes your followers uncomfortable and it’s depressing – save the drama for your momma!
- You send endless app invites. Not everyone is interested in Candy Crush. I appreciate you thinking of me but after the first two denials, it’s best to just move on.
- Every picture you post is a “Selfie”. Yes you are fabulous, but we already know that, so try and diversify your picture taking skills.
- You only post pictures that you look amazing in, and then tag all your friends who look less than appealing. If your friends do not look amazing too, ask for their permission before you start tagging them.
- You never comment on or “like” any of your network’s posts, but the minute something slightly political is posted you take the opportunity to rant and insult their beliefs. If you’re going to rant on someone’s page at least you could wish him or her a Happy Birthday or say the picture of his or her kid is cute too. Trolling is not cute.
- You post ambiguous statements like, “I can’t believe that just happened.” Then – crickets. Don’t leave your followers in suspense or allow us to guess through dozens of comments.
- You take every quiz available and post your results. A few are fine, but do we really need to know what Disney character you would be? (P.S. I would be Belle. Duh.)
While social media has allowed our voices to be heard, we can agree those voices still need to follow the Golden Rule we all learned as kids: Treat others as you would want to be treated – oh, and lay off the Farmville invites.