Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, once dominated by teens, is now populated by adults as well. Like anyone moving into a foreign country, we have a tendency to create problems because we havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taken the time to learn the language and social etiquette. While it probably wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cause an International incident, it may create an uncomfortable silence between you and your teens, family, or friends.
Here are a few tips on ensuring you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t step on toes.
Consider Your Words
No one can hear your tone of voice when they are reading your status. Keep this in mind at all times. When you say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My brilliant friend helped me put up wall paperÃ¢â‚¬Â, it can be taken several ways.
Is your friend really brilliant and you love the result? Did your friend hang half the paper upside down? You see, without the tone of voice there are no clues to the actual meaning of some phrases. Always make sure that your words say exactly what you want them to.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Once you hit enter, whatever you say is public and there are some things your friends donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to know! There are also some things your friends donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want other people to know. Be careful of the amount of information you share Ã¢â‚¬â€œ especially if it is about someone else.
The fact that your teenager ran into a telephone pole during a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s test may be funny to you but your teen wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t appreciate the publicity.
Everyone Has One
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m taking about opinions, of course! It is especially bad in an election year. Everyone has differing opinions on religion and politics Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind by continually posting your views on your social media page.
Be chill and share encouragement.
Keep It Personal
If you use social media as part of your work, please donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just post links to your stuff.Ã‚Â Social media is for getting to know people as people, not as corporations. When you just post work related commentary you are like someone who goes to a wedding reception and hands out business cards without any other comment.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be that guy.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Use Unfamiliar Acronyms
By now, everyone has to have heard the joke about the dad that joins Facebook and asks his son what WTF means.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It means Welcome to Facebook, of course!Ã¢â‚¬Â
So the dad goes and posts WTF to all the pages of his friends.
It is funny, but also holds a grain of truth. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use acronyms that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know the meaning of or else youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have people ROFL at U behind UR back :::headdesk:::: & U will B like OMG! FML! Ã‚Â T_T
Size Matters but No One Wants to Know Yours
This is tricky. The more followers you have, the stronger influence you are.Ã‚Â The search engines, advertisers, and possible clients care about this Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no one else does. No one wants to know if you have 54 billion likes on your Facebook page so donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t keep announcing it.
Finally, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use all capital letters. It is the equivalent of screaming and is totally not cool.
There are numerous other rules, but mostly, social media politeness is merely a matter of thinking before you type.
photo credit: BuzzFarmers