iCom: Social media etiquettes you should follow
Social media has become a necessity, from communicating with people and getting updated on news to sharing your sentiments and updating everyone with your life. It lets you connect with a long-lost friend in just a few clicks, as well as meet someone new a thousand miles away from where you are. It’s a treat! But sometimes, people get too careless and often forget to treat everyone on the internet with respect.
The rise of different social media platforms oblige us to be mature users and follow simple etiquette to avoid disrespecting anyone. This can be as simple as ignoring a post that has nothing to do with you or being nice to strangers online. Social media etiquette helps us become responsible and compel us to take accountability when we commit a mistake. iCom comprised a couple of rules to guide your netizen journey:
Do not overshare
Posting on your social media accounts from time to time is acceptable, but announcing every detail of your life every minute can make you lose followers and friends. Most people will find it annoying when you bomb their social media feed with your ‘Just woke up’ posts, mirror selfies, and your most private thoughts.
Oversharing about your life can also affect your image. When you pour your emotions and daily routine out in the open, more people will have more to say about you. You will likely receive judgements from people you barely interact with or hear unsolicited comments about your life. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t post anything! Just be mindful of what you share in the online world.
Avoid bad mouthing anyone
After an argument, make sure to calm yourself down before opening your social media accounts. Do not vent out your negative feelings online that can worsen the conflict. Always remember that even if you can delete your posts, you can never take your words back.
Posting when you’re angry or upset with someone can inflict damage to your relationships. Social media has made some people forget that issues can be resolved privately. You can send a private message or schedule a face-to-face conversation to properly discuss any issues. It is much better than writing cryptic posts on the internet, hoping they pick up the message that you are mad at them.
Respect the opinion of others
It’s easy to get caught up in arguments with people behind the screen. Sometimes, you feel the need to push your opinions and convince people to have the same viewpoints as you do. You want to persuade them that pineapples do not go well with pizza, your music taste is better than anyone’s preferences, or strawberry milkshakes taste terrible. But at some point, you have to accept that everyone has different perspectives and preferences.
However, there is an exception to this rule. When you see that an opinion of a fellow netizen endangers lives, steps on human rights, and prevents people from living their truths, it is best to call them out. For instance, you see a Facebook friend promoting homophobia wherein they explicitly call the members of LGBTQIA+ slurs, insults, and even pose death threats. Privately message them and inform them that they should take down their post because it is detrimental and can trigger traumas. Using social media to spread hateful opinions can do a lot of damage.
Verify news before sharing
In the age of social media, false information or fake news have sprung up almost anywhere. Social media has made it easier for ill-intentioned people to create fake online content that can potentially harm someone’s reputation or put the population at risk. Make sure to double-check articles before sharing! Do not mislead your followers with malicious content. It is your responsibility to make sure that you only share factual posts regarding politics, health issues, and a celebrity’s personal life.
Advocate against cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is one of the problems in social media these days. Most people have been harassed, laughed at, and became the talk of the town even if they did nothing wrong. When using social media, the first rule to always keep in mind is to be kind and sensitive when dealing with other people. Remember, don’t treat others the way you don’t want to be treated. Victims of cyberbullying suffer from mental health problems due to receiving traumatic and harmful attacks from their fellow netizens.
If you see posts that personally attack someone, you may report them to prevent them from spreading like wildfire. The first step in advocating against cyberbullying starts with you. Be compassionate with one another. Additionally, publicly shaming anyone and hurting anyone’s reputation on the internet can get you jailed.
Prioritize your privacy at all costs
In your social media platforms, keep your personal information private at all times. Securing them will help you avoid identity theft and fraud. Do not post your identification cards and debit or credit cards.
Social media platforms also provide privacy settings that you can take advantage of to make your information more secure. Take some time to explore them and limit what people can access and see on your feed.
Do not post pictures of another person without their consent
Posting a friend’s picture on your feed without asking them first might put them in a harmful situation. People like posting their friends’ candid photos to make fun of them or their drunk videos for people to laugh at. While some people find this amusing, others might take offence and get uncomfortable. Make sure to ask for their permission before posting their photos to avoid conflicts! If they say no, respect their decision and move on.
Have a good time
Social media is majorly for recreation so know how to have fun when online! Find activities that are both informative and entertaining. Meet new people, join social groups and talk through video chats, share your common interests with them, and learn about new things. Share your style of photography and your latest portraits or have an online art exhibit of your artworks to garner an audience. It’s a fun world to display your creativity, expand your horizons, and discover possibilities. Have fun!
Social media is a free country! Why are these etiquettes needed?
Some of you might reason that social media means freedom. You can post whatever you like and say whatever needs to be said. It is a platform for self-expression where people can be themselves which they cannot always do in real life. Why should anyone stop you? The reason is simple and it is because of social responsibility. When using different social media platforms, you interact with different people you do not personally know. No matter where you go or where you are, whether in social media or real life, always bring these good manners with you. Here’s why:
They help you become a better person
No one is ever perfect and that’s the hard truth. In some cases, you will not be in your best state and you might accidentally make a mistake, hurting someone in the process. For example, you leave a comment on a Facebook post without thinking things through. Your statement can hurt someone’s feelings which can potentially lead to conflict.
With social media etiquettes to keep you grounded, you remind yourself to acknowledge what you’ve done, apologize, make amends, and do the necessary actions to prevent yourself from repeating the same mistake. Good people make social media a better place.
They promote respect and kindness
Imagine using social media platforms infested with users with bad manners and vile language. Chaotic, right? In a way, social media etiquettes create a system. These etiquettes encourage courtesy from users and to be considerate every time they are online. They help you better understand that in social media, you have to give respect to every person you interact with. Be empathetic and always evaluate your statements before speaking.
They create meaningful conversations
When there is enough respect given to one another, meaningful conversations arise. You can share your unproblematic beliefs and opinions regarding religion, politics, identity, and race without the fear of anyone personally attacking you.
With proper manners, they invite a healthy exchange of arguments between people, making them open their minds to new ideas and change. Social media etiquettes provide a platform for political differences, criticisms, and the culture of calling someone out.
Be a responsible netizen with iCom
Join us in making social media a better place for everyone! The first step will always begin with what you do. Just always remember to be sympathetic and follow these simple etiquettes for a better social media experience!