Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, Facebook, StumbleUpon and Digg are just a few of the social media avenues I use on a daily basis to connect with my readers. There’s no doubt about it—social outreach has become part of our lives—a major part.
But with the exponential growth in the ability to communicate, there comes new responsibilities to consider.
The idea of connecting with friends sounds exciting. It is finally possible to reach out to colleagues, friends, co-workers and classmates any time of the day or night. We were able to find those with whom we had lost contact, or even find an old high school sweetheart.
But with that, many are willing to type statements and criticisms onto a blog, timeline or news feed that they would never say in person. They feel isolated from their own comments, as if someone else made them.
The absence of accountability is not without consequence, however. We may think we aren’t hurting anyone if we type our comments because we don’t see the pain on the faces of those we offend.
As a result, a phenomenon has developed that I will refer to as virtual amnesty, believing that social graces are no longer necessary because we aren’t real and whatever we say bears no consequence. This, of course, is not true.
Since social networking is here to stay, it is imperative that we develop the skills to communicate appropriately.
I have adopted some of the rules of etiquette espoused by others more intelligent than I that you may find helpful.
When you’re writing or responding, don’t forget that your audience may be quite large. Taking that into consideration can prevent hurt feelings or damaging relationships.