I take an intellectual approach when teaching the whys and the hows of polite behavior. This is not a matter of being too sensitive, but a matter of common courtesy in the society we choose to live.
Social Media Etiquette
Social media has become a great platform that allows us to express ourselves and reach many people with a simple click of the submit button. It has granted exposure to so many perspectives and is a glimpse into other people’s ways of life.
So, I am going to get to the point: some of us are sharing way too much on social media and display very uncouth behavior. Here I offer some tips; some of them are common mistakes and some we are not even aware that we may be making.
Don’t do drunk or emotional posts
Think about how you will feel about your words in 365 days.
To put it simply, think about the implications and the consequences of your post; think about how you will feel one year after the post, or heck, even one hour after the post. Most of the time the crazy posts are from people who have nothing to lose...what do you have to lose?
If you are in an emotional state, pause (or I will even challenge you to write it down on paper) before you post for the world to see. This is especially significant if you have co-workers or bosses who follow you. Similarly, when you are seeking employment, clean up page or simply deactivate your accounts; anything that an employer is not legally allowed to ask during the interview process (marital status, sexual orientation, how many kids you have...) is most likely on your social media platform. To avoid any discrimination, just eliminate any evidence during your job search..
Imagine someone taking a picture of you at your most vulnerable time and broadcasting it for the world to see…this is one of the most inconsiderate social media faux pas that have become accepted. These moments have turned “normal” people into memes and changed their lives. There are consequences to these unsolicited posts. You never know how fragile a person is or how being forced into the public can hurt (or sometimes benefits) someone, but that is not an stranger’s decision to make.
In an effort to keep you in the moment, many people are finding ways to request that phones are put away and social media is turned off for an hour or two. Dave Chappelle has patrons lock their phones to protect his freedom as a comedian and to keep his work on that stage. If you are a part of my generation, you remember a time when there were no phones streaming the entire concert…we enjoyed the concert and sang along. Some have even asked their loved ones at weddings to not post any pictures of the wedding; the bride and groom want the chance to announce their love and share their life event with the world first.
Unsolicited pictures could also be construed as a form of bullying, as they are sometimes posted to ridicule or embarrass someone without their consent.
Stop broadcasting funerals and people on their last days (yes, this happens)
Stop posting photos of people on their deathbeds. Post mortem photos used to be a thing in the 1800’s…but selfies of you and your loved one on their deathbed is not something the whole world needs to see. Sometimes in a time of mourning we put emotional outcries and posts online, but savor this time with your loved one privately.
Funerals are not church services to be broadcasted; an hour of mourning is not something for a live feed. Let’s focus and celebrate the life of the person that has passed, be in that moment.
The goal of social media is to share and connect, let’s not let it continue to take a dark turn.
Enjoy the moment, live an authentic life, and only share pieces with the world.