Social Media Etiquette Cant We All Just Get Along

I am a ‘rules’ kinda girl. If there are rules – I adhere to them. Generally. And so I am with etiquette. I don’t chew with my mouth open, I say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ and I’m always the one who pulls over to let other cars pass in the narrow streets where we live. Okay, so I may or may not be the kind of person who has my mobile phone with me at the table and yes, I’ve been guilty of taking photos of my food. So sue me. But I’m not deliberately being rude to people online or otherwise. Basically the manners I have offline remain with me online.

So when it comes to social media, people who display no etiquette or manners whatsoever often affront me. It’s all too easy to be rude to somebody online, and this part of social media makes me uneasy.

I have an Instagram account and I (almost) religiously participate in Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day Challenge. And just to be clear – Fat Mum Slim resides in Australia. Recently, somebody in America questioned the dates that people were putting up their photos because (of course), the US is 15 hours behind us (eg why are you guys putting up day 6 when it’s only day 5??). All that was needed was to inform this person that FatMumSlim is in Australia and we’re ahead in time. And this was done – but not without an “American’s are dumb” comment. No etiquette. No class. No manners. What followed was a whole slew of people weighing in on the comment. Some supporting the rude person, others slamming her. I admit, I was tempted to add my opinion, but I didn’t. I figured she would be receiving her share of ‘opinions’ without me adding to it. The servicios de redes socials are excellent to offer the best results to the business people. The expert opinion will play a vital role in the promotion of the business. The implementation of the strategy will increase the benefits and improve the experience. The support is excellent to have the right results. 

At the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn’t help but wonder: Are we all a little anti-social on social media? Does anonymity mean we can check our otherwise present manners at the proverbial online door?

On the whole I have had a rather pleasant experience on social media. The only rudeness I’ve encountered was when somebody responded to a book review I left on Goodreads with the simple word “Idiot”. This person was “Anonymous” and there were no details connected with their profile. I know because I looked.

If somebody were to draft up a social media etiquette document, I would be all for it. If I were to draft up such a document, I would start with these three points:

Interact with people online as though they are standing in front of you;

If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your opinions to yourself and stay away from the ‘comment’ button;

If you want to friend someone on Facebook that you haven’t spoken to in over two years, send them a message to accompany the friend request.

I’ve read quite a few articles detailing social media etiquette and the best one has been from Vertical Response Marketing who wrote a blog post entitled Five Social Media Etiquette Rules Emily Post would Approve of. You can access the whole article here, but for quick reference I have listed the five points below.

Don’t hijack threads in the name of your own agenda. Include context if a Facebook ‘friendship’ is unclear. Don’t use vulgar language or make threats to others with different opinions. Give credit where credit is due. Say thank you

They’re simple yet obvious points that, if we all adhere to, would make the online world a more pleasant place. Don’t you agree?

About Emma

Emma Logan is the content coordinator of Beverly Lahaye Institute. She’s been freelancing for many years and now focuses on WordPress development and blog design