Minding your manners on social media

Bad manners are everywhere. And these days it seems they are most often on display on social media.

And I don’t just mean fake news, election tampering, newsjacking, and all the other ways companies, countries, and politicians try to manipulate us online. I mean the bad behavior exhibited by friends and connections.

Sure, there’s a time for photos of you enjoying a drink with friends, or a photo of the meal you just cooked, or for that gym check-in. There may even be a time to post political messages, 75 photos of your vacation, Bible verses, and information about the latest Botox special. But that time should not be every day.

Don’t be “that” person. Consider the following tips before you post.


Don’t over-share
Don’t over-share on social media. Though you are sharing with your friends, no one wants to know the minute details of your life. Before you post something, ask yourself whether you would talk about the content of your post at a crowded cocktail party.


I recently received this LinkedIn connection request: “I see that your company is hiring. Let’s connect so we can talk about how I can fill this role.” I have no idea who this person is, so why would I connect only to help him get a job?

Treat invitations to connect on LinkedIn like introductions at a networking event. You wouldn’t approach a stranger at an event and open with, “Can you help me get a job at your company.” So, don’t do it on LinkedIn.


Have a conversation
Have you ever worked with someone who refuses to pick up the phone, insisting that everything can be solved through email, IM, or texting?

We all know that misunderstandings occur with electronic communication. It’s difficult to convey intent and tone through chat or email. Some situations call for human-to-human interaction, even if it can’t be face to face.

When you can, opt for a phone call. Have an actual conversation. Clear up the situation with a 10-minute discussion instead of sending 10 emails.


Be selfie-less
According to a recent study, 259 have died worldwide while taking selfies. Of the deaths, researchers found the leading cause to be drowning (being washed away by waves at the beach); followed by incidents involving transportation (standing in front of an oncoming train); and falling from heights (cliffs and mountainsides in national parks).

Other causes include animals (posing with wild animals); firearms (posing with a gun or grenade); and electrocution (touching live wires at the top of trains). The study was published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

And then there are the folks who ruin their careers by posing with a family of baboons they’ve just killed. Or a neighborhood cat they’ve shot.

Enough said.


Readers . . . do you have any social media blunders to share?

This post was also published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.



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