Social media sites may be about having fun, but when online we shouldn’t forget our manners or do anything our moms wouldn’t approve of. Here are some basic netiquettes to follow and avoid being virtually ostracized:
1. Watch what you’re saying!
The web provides users a certain degree of anonymity which makes people say things-mean things that they wouldn’t usually say while having a conversation with someone. Also, abuses are as unwelcome online as they are in the real world. The rule is, if you wouldn’t say something in real life don’t say it online.
2. Don’t forget the Golden words
Please, Thank you and Sorry are as important online as they are in real life. Use them as often as necessary.
3. Exercise caution when speaking of Sex, Religion and Politics
Being touchy topics for most people, you would want to think twice before you post extremist views online or choose to disrepute someone else’s religion. Most people wouldn’t take it lightly and you could end up in a big soup. Be respectful.
4. When reposting, always credit the source.
As you would in the real world, when sharing someone else’s words, pictures or other forms of intellectual property, always credit the creator.
5. Turn off the Caps lock
Would you speak to everyone you met in a loud, harsh tone in real life? Definitely not, it’s simply not civil. Using capitals to say what you have to say online is the same as yelling in real life, it’s rude, annoying and will drive away people.
6. Don’t dump garbage in your neighbor’s backyard
Spamming is the same as throwing trash over the wall. Seriously, don’t. You’ll only end up losing your friends.
7. Keep personal conversations private
Do not post sympathetic messages on the wall of a friend who’s just lost her job. Do not have spats with your ex wife online. Do not have conversations that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having in the middle of the day at a crowded cafeteria. Be respectful of people’s privacy.
8. Do not tag people in embarrassing pictures or posts without their permission
Some people are connected to their business contacts via social media as well. Tagging your best friend in a drunken selfie at a girl’s night out may not be such a good idea if her boss and co workers can see it too. Also, with a number of parents, teachers and nosy neighbors on Facebook, tagging friends in posts like “parents out of town, let’s get high tonight” might not be such a good idea.
9. Don’t over share
Would you share pictures of your newborn baby to everyone you meet on the street? Do you have to tell everyone who calls that you’re making lasagna for dinner? Would you tell your postman how much you love your cutie pie when he comes to deliver the mail? No!
So why do it on social media? Note to enthusiastic over sharers-you don’t have to rub every detail of your happy life in other people’s faces. We don’t care.
10. Don’t be deceitful online
Keep your social media profiles complete and accurate. Don’t use them to live out your fantasies, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Do not put your favorite celebrity’s picture as a display picture. Don’t use your profiles to stalk people o r keep tabs on your ex.
Whether online or offline, no one likes an uncouth person. Be yourself, but don’t be an annoyance to everyone out there. Like Lillian Gish said, though it’s possible to get through life with bad manners, good manners just make it easier!