A little while ago a friend joined Twitter and suggested that I write a blog entry about Twitter etiquette so he’d know what to do. So, Andrew, here you go. This is how I conduct myself on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue and the like.
Right off the top I want to say that these are only my personal views on things. The great thing about these social media platforms is that there isn’t anyone telling us what we can and cannot say. Also, if you don’t like how someone is conducting themselves or expressing their feeling you can simply erase them from your virtual world.
My whole life I’ve done my best not to rock the boat too hard. I try not to cause a whole lot of problems. I’m the same in the world of social media. I very rarely let slip a 4 letter word. I use terms like eff and dang and shucks. It doesn’t bother me at all to do so. Most of the time that’s how I speak, why would I type and post any different?
I have my name attached to these profiles. They are extensions of my day to day life and reputation. I use them to expand and build my brand. In fact, there are hundreds of people in my networks who either haven’t seen me in years or have never met me in person. How I represent myself in status updates, links and quotes is their primary chance to see me and who I am. I choose to show them the polite guy that I’ve always tried to be.
Secondly, fml updates are something that I try to avoid. There are times when they slip through the cracks, but I try my best. If you’re unaware, fml stands for Eff My Life. The term comes from a popular website (www.fmylife.com) where people submit their embarrassing or unfortunate life happenings anonymously. I’m cool with the website, I visit it. But here are my feelings on the personal and not anonymous status updates people post. I have close to 1000 people in my social network circle. They don’t all need to know about my family issues, relationship foibles, friendship dramas or bad day at work experiences. I have enough phone numbers, BB Pins and email addresses available to vent to friends and avoid 2 things. 1) A pity party and 2) Creating more drama. I hate to admit it but some people have turned into the boy that cried wolf with their updates. I barely read them anymore and I rarely leave a message or comment. Maybe I’m just being fickle. I don’t know.
The last big point I want to make stems from the previous one. Folks airing their dirty laundry with friends, enemies, frienemies and exes make me cringe. I was once, somewhat infamously, subjected to this kind of “attack” by way of a Facebook group. It didn’t last long, but it sucked. Now, did the people responsible for starting the group have a reason to be upset with me, yes. Do I blame them for being upset because they felt hurt by me, no. Do I think a social media group calling me a bad name and taking shots at me publically was the most appropriate way to go about expressing their anger, not really. To clarify, this was a few years ago now. I am no longer upset or holding any grudges on my end. I just wanted to use an example that I was familiar with. In my humble opinion, social media shouldn’t be used to further your personal fights or gain support in them against others. It all seems very high school to me. And I was finished high school a long time ago.
Just before we wrap up there are a few quick points I want to get out.
1) Give credit where credit is due: Retweet messages you think are clever or important and include the user you got them from so that others can give credit or recognize them.
2) Don’t spam: Just like email, nobody wants to get bombed with random links to things they don’t need or want via social media.
3) If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything: Don’t make rude or negative comments on status updates or photos. Honestly, what does it accomplish?
There you have it Andrew. My guide to my social media behaviour. I don’t expect my views to coincide with everyone elses. What fun would that be? But I think the respect points are worth looking at.
And please, for crying out loud, if you don’t agree with me and have something to say, do it here in the comments, not on my wall.
So, Andrew, here you go. This is how I conduct myself on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue and the like.