Social Media Manners

Did you ever think there would come a day where people could hide behind a computer and pick a fight with someone that they would be scared to say the same words face to face? How about people who reveal all aspects of their lives online, to the point where you may blush or ask yourself if that’s too personal to broadcast over the internet?

Yes I’m talking about social media manners. I guess I’ve tried to think before I broadcast what I want the world to see. There’s no sense in revealing all the intimate details about my personal life. I don’t believe if I have a problem with a specific person I should whine and complain behind the veil of a computer- I think it’s best to handle the issue much like you would in public, one on one and privately.

There have been too many instances where the written word can be totally misinterpreted compared to the spoken word. You can attempt to place humor, but often it’s lost in translation. Certain levels of tone, attitude and sarcasm just don’t come through as well as when you are speaking.

Be aware that people are looking you up and seeing the type of person you are. Certain workplaces aren’t going to be so hip with your party photos, or understanding when you want to reveal inside jokes about your friends in your status updates. I realize that there are times that people are looking for an outlet to vent and possibly get some outside opinions on situations that may be going on through their day to day lives. However, I think you need to use caution and discretion with what you really let out there for friends, co-workers and family to see versus items that would be best handled behind closed doors.

I love social media and use it every day. The tools have allowed me to re-connect with people throughout my entire life. You get the chance to instantly re-discover what you’ve been missing in that person’s world. I choose to use it for the good rather than tear people apart. I’ve heard too many instances recently of relationships becoming strained and torn apart due to the keystrokes published for the world to see, to ponder and to comment upon.

My wife and I are careful when it comes to our daughters and their use of social media. Too many instances of parents not paying attention to what their kids post and publish have led to serious ramifications with the law. They may not like our questioning about who they are adding and who they are talking with, but I think in today’s society it’s fine for me to be safe rather than sorry.

I guess the bottom line I want people to ponder is: think before you hit the enter button. If you are angry at someone in a moment, take the time to really think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Sometimes it’s very difficult to reel the words back in your mouth once you’ve put them out there. Enjoy the technology and continue to build positive relationships as a result.


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