Social Media Etiquette

How's your Social Media Etiquette Checklist? Blank Like This One? Read below!

In light of the recent firing of a sportsnet personality, now would be a good time to discuss social media etiquette. Growing up in the technology age you’re no stranger to the internet and probably visit various social media sites. Social media (web 2.0) provides its users with a constant stream of information about your friends, family, and coworkers you’ve friended or follow.

Web 2.0 just like the internet, taken this vast planet and turned it into a global village. No longer do you have to wonder what happened to your friend who moved across the world! There was a time when you had to rely on letter writing and phone calls to keep in contact with those far away. With the internet came email and simplified the art of writing to others. Texting and social messaging services like Icq, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, and Yahoo Messenger brought forth instant text communications. Use of webcams and the desire for face-time despite long distances lead to popularity for services like Skype and Window Messenger Video chat.  With all these increases in technology and social communication it’s no wonder world has been set aflame with all things Social Media.  While Myspace and hi5 are early form of social media, I became enthralled when I discovered facebook and twitter.

Facebook allowed me to get back in touch with friends I knew from grade school and to keep in touch easier with friends from high school.  My first year of university, the word escaping everyone’s lips was facebook.  Everywhere I went I would hear “Have you heard about facebook? Are you on it??  Add me!!”

in 2006, Twitter emerged as a new microblogging service. Twitter didn’t catch on as quickly as facebook as it left people wondering if 140 characters were enough to communicate their message. Now twitter has surpassed 200 million accounts! Facebook too has large amounts of accounts roughly over 500 million  Social media is pretty much everywhere!

How does etiquette factor into social media?

The growth in popularity of social media leads to lots of information sharing.  We can learn about what’s going on with our friends, family, coworkers, favourite celebrities, and preferred news providers.  Information is power and of interest however, if you like to overshare you’re likely to constantly share mundane details or sometimes share inappropriate details like “I eat grapes at the gas station” or “Stacey has a botched boob job.”

A comedic movie Easy A pokes at teens who overshare their lives.  The Teacher Mr. Griffith ( played by Thomas Haden Church) says “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. ‘Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.’ Who gives a rat’s ass?” Quote referenced  Mr. Griffith remark starts off  my etiquette list.

  1. Don’t spam or pester by overloading.  If you tweet  like no tomorrow that’s fine just don’t link your account with Facebook.  There is almost nothing more annoying than going to read your facebook newsfeed and it is all filled with one person’s tweets!   Also if you are trying to sell or promote don’t spam in hopes more people will read it because you’ll just annoy connections and be unfriended/unfollowed.
  2. Feel free to share relevant information people want to know just think of the acronym  wwtkt  (Who wants to know this?) If you can’t think of people who want to know that information then I would advise against posting it.
  3. Are your updates/ tweets emotional?  That’s fine.  It’s okay to share how you feel but beware of overly emotional or catty remarks.  It may feel good to vent your frustrations via social media but you don’t look good to others.  You reconsider before sending an angry or frustrated email, shouldn’t you do the same with social media sharing?  My best advice? Think twice!  Always think twice before you want to post an emotionally charged  update or tweet.
  4. Is this your information offensive or discriminatory?  Free speech is wonderful , it truly is, but if you want to post something that is bound to offend others then  leave the opinion to yourself.

    If you are a public figure or are associated with a company and use social media for part of your work, keep your information work related.  Don’t blur the line and cross into personal opinions.

  • Good example courtesy Yahoonews from the article Rogers Sportsnet fires on-air host over tweets regarding same-sex marriage  discussing Damian’s controversial tweet in opposition to Sean Avery (New York Rangers forward)  support of same-sex marriage.“I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard tweeted Tuesday. The TV network then issued its own tweet, saying: “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.”  On Wednesday, it(Rogers) severed ties with Goddard.”

Bottom line:  Be polite and always think twice before you write, post, or tweet.


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