Medium-Digital, Medium-Internet

Social Media Etiquette 101

We recently posted several articles about how social media has changed the game for advertising. Today, we’ll make some notes about how social media has been used in a very tragic/dismal way, and how to combat it, at least, in your own personal use of the tool.

Like money, or a box of matches, social media is inherently neutral. In the hands of the right people, it will create positive changes. In the hands of the wrong people, social media can and will destroy people.

By now, you must have heard of the atrocious cases of cyberbullying that have caused the suicides of teens around the world. Other cases may not have resulted in suicides, but the circumstances are no less appalling. We have also seen how teens can take their rebellion to the next level, prompting her father to take matters into his own hands. Below are links to these different cases.

These are only a few ways that social media can be abused. We can go on and on about the cases, but let’s not beleaguer the point. We can do something about it, instead.

Remember GMA Network’s campaign on “Think before you click”? That’s the best way to go about it. When mad and you’re ranting to high heavens, think before hitting that “Reply” or “Post” button. Or if you want to rant, keep it on your own wall, or tag only those you trust the most. If you’re not close friends with someone, think twice before tagging content.

In summary, here are the best practices for making social media a positive (or at least neutral tool):

  • Stay on your own wall. If you must rant, keep to your own wall. And if someone else is ranting, mind your own business and stay away from that thread. You may risk offending that person.
  • Comment only on neutral to positive topics. Food, travel, life’s little pleasures, are great neutral ground to get a conversation going. Steer clear from criticism, however. Even if you may think that yours was “constructive criticism,” some people may actually get offended from a well-meaning but contrarian comment.
  • If you got into a fight with someone, online slander is never the answer. If your complaints are legitimate, it’s okay to blog about it, as long as you are telling the truth and presenting pure, cold, hard facts. Never take it to a personal level and defame the person’s character with salacious details.

These points may be extremely cautionary, but it’s worth discussing. All of us have the limbic system perched on top of our brain stems. The limbic system is the part of the brain that governs emotions. Daniel Goleman points out that once this area of the brain is activated, heightened emotions are sure to result. That is why people in anger may not be “themselves.”

We at Pinay Media Planner cap off the Monday with this friendly though grim reminder of the responsible use of social media. This is our way of helping keep things fun and friendly, on this side of the Internet. Mabuhay ka, Pinay Media Planner! And may your Tuesday be awesome!



Photo Credits: Rick’s RSS


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