Social Networking Etiquette
Jun 28, 2011
We live in a very exciting cyber world, where everyone is our neighbor, and although we have more friends than we can shake a stick at, we’re constantly searching for more. I, for one, love this new world for many reasons. Clearly, those who know me, recognize my love of everyone, so the more friends, the merrier in Melissaland. I have never felt so connected to readers and bloggers, authors and stay-at-home moms. Cyberspace has opened new avenues for everyone to connect, learn, grow, teach, and share. In this cyber wonderland, I find myself raising eyebrows at some of the things that are posted on Twitter, Facebook, and the like. It makes me wonder–should there be cyber rules of ettiquette?
My swift answer is yes, there should be, and I’m going to take a stab at the top cyber ettiquette rules that I’d like to see people follow.
This definition clearly defines non-hostile relationships. Why, then, so people “friend” others to rant about them or demean them? This has not happened to me (although now that I’m writing this, I would imagine it will), but it has happened to some of my friends, which is why I came up with the following rule.
Rule #1 Don’t friend another person if you are harboring ill intent.
Cyber friends and in-person friends might know you on very different levels, therefore, what you put out on social sites, for the world to see, might easily be interpreted one way by one friend and another by a different friend. Rumors spread quickly in the cyber world. For that reason, I feel rule #w comes into play.
Rule #2 Be careful what you put in print.
Profanity has its place. I know this, because I have five sons and one teenage daughter, six brothers, and many vehement women friends. Profanity is not welcome by all–this, unfortunately, I might have learned the hard way after a few too many laughs. When you have many cyber friends, some are likely to not welcome profanity. Hence, rule #3.
Rule #3 Don’t drop the “f” bomb in cyberspace. It might richochet.
Many of us have Facebook Fan Pages and Profile pages. Is there anything more annoying that having a professional Fan Page and being spammed by other professionals who merely want their names mentioned on your page? I’m all for thank-you-for-the-friendship posts, but linking your page with a big picture seems a little like spam. Are you thankful for the friendship, or the exposure? Rule #4 is a personal pet peeve.
Rule #4 Pay it forward.
I happen to love helping other people, whether it’s women on the Women’s Nest or aspiring authors or simply someone who needs a boost. I have met some very good friends this way, and people have helped me right back. Another personal pet peeve is simple. If you’ve climbed a ladder and you’re happy with your success, reach out to those who need a hand. If someone is shouting out your name thank them. If they’re reaching out, respond. You once needed a hand somewhere along the way–don’t forget that feeling. Pay-it-forward.
Rule #5: Friends don’t spam friends (This is a BIG one)
Before you post a link on someone else’s wall, ask yourself this–are you simply marketing yourself or your products? Is that what “friends” do to each other? If so, plesae refrain from doing so. There’s no great turn-off than a public selling of your fare on someone else’s wall. A kind private message will likely be welcomed and lead to that person following your link. A link placed on someone else’s public wall will likely lead to a deletion, and maybe even one less friendship.
Rule #6 Help those that are seeking it.
I was sure I’d come up with a list of ten or more cyber rules of ettiquette, but I have fallen short. I guess not much bothers me in the cyber world, besides cyber stalking and internet crazies (and the five noted issues above).
Lastly, bad days happen, but they don’t have to ruin everyone’s day. Grab a little perspective from a friend — you probably have over 300 of them! Smile, share that smile, or even ask a friend to send you some happy energy – I know I’ll send you some. Life is for enjoying it and sharing it with friends. Let’s keep it light and happy. Life’s more fun that way.
Rule #7 We’ve been given an open door to so many people’s eyes. Let’s use it in ways that are positive. Let’s help spread peace and happiness, just because we can.
That’s my two cents — Enjoy our lovely cyber playground and thanks for stopping by.
Wanna talk books? Tweet me, FB me, or send me an email; thinkhappygirl (at) yahoo. My Goodreads profile and Fan Page are linked in the top right corner of the page.
Melissa Foster is a New York Time and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page.
"...a stunningly impactful read."
"Psychological suspense at its best"
"...powerful in story, beautiful in its reality, and simply unforgettable."