Remember when you logged into your social media account to find the latest on what your friends and family were doing? Remember when the most annoying thing about your social media account were ads that weren’t really interesting to you?
Well, things have changed. Now, you have to scroll through post after post of anger, politics, fake news, vitriol and people attempting to change everyone’s mind when there would never be a way theirs would be changed. This doesn’t even take into account the unbelievable number of things you should like because “no one would ever share or like” the picture of the veteran / old person / disabled child / sick dog.
It’s just too much but there isn’t much you can do about the sources of the problems (unless you are one of them).
To that end, we’ve thought of some pretty practical rules of the road that you should follow as responsible members of social media. Have any additional to add? Let us know in the comments!
- Do Unto Others is as real on social media as in real life. Don’t want people screaming at you? Don’t scream at other people! Don’t want people to spew their political beliefs? Don’t push yours on them!
- Know Others are Watching including your boss or your potential employers. Yup, they will check your social media before they hire you or will check up on you every once in a while. What kind of person do they see? What you post is not just your random stream of consciousness but could reveal things about you that shouldn’t be revealed.
- CHECK YOUR FACTS all the time with everything you share. Even today, we see some of the smartest people we know sharing or re posting things that are just unbelievably not true. It happens no matter your political affiliation. It usually starts by someone reading a salacious headline that gets you to click on what you assume is a credible website. The story is then read and digested as if it were true and factual. . . . and then it spreads and spreads some more. If you don’t know how to research the truth of a story — don’t post it. Even if someone you think is pretty smart has sent you something — don’t post it unless you do your own investigation.
- Don’t Be Fooled By Legal Posts: basically, if you see a post that says “a lawyer friend told me to post this” or “if you don’t post this your account will change” — don’t believe it. It’s all a scam and just makes you look stupid.
- If You Believe This — Type Amen is another common way to bait you to into clicking or liking a page that will eventually try to get personal info from you or send you ads that you don’t want. People create these things not because they care or support the causes, but becuase they want to make money off you. Just don’t give them the satisfaction!
- Don’t Tag or Message Everyone You Know especially with chain messages or requests to join a private group. While you might be excited that a bunch of money might come your way if you send the message to 10 people, it won’t happen — just like it didn’t happen when you were 9 and got those letters in the mail. Also, the idea that everyone who has ever friended you on Facebook wants to be part of a private group for your new Mary Kay group is also wrong. Post on your wall that you welcome people to join but never automatically ad people.
These are just six rules — but all of them follow the same design: be kind, don’t bother people in unnecessary ways, do your research and don’t believe everything you read on social media. If only a few of us were able to adopt these practices, our social media experience would be a better one!