How to Behave On Social Media

I joined the wild, wild world of Facebook around nine years ago, and boy has social media changed since then! We used to mainly pop in after work, or in the morning, and always on the computer, and usually just to share a status update and see how everyone was doing. It was a great way to connect, and reconnect with friends and relatives. It was a way to find old high school classmates, and college sorority sisters. We discovered that silly, time consuming farming game and played it for hours. (at least I did) Think about how different it is now. Most of us use our phones, hopping on, and checking in at all times of the day.  In addition to Facebook, we now have Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat to share images, ideas and yes, occasionally a status update. Social media – like it, love it, or hate it, is here to stay. And folks, I think we might need a little refresher course in do’s and don’ts for sharing and behaving on social media. Here’s my two cents worth:

DON’T be passive aggressive in your status updates. You know the ones I mean. They’re usually cryptic, hidden in subterfuge, sometimes a bit cynical sounding. For example: “I’m so over mean people”… or “I know who my REAL friends are”…etc. Y’all, if you can’t say it to someone’s face in a non-confrontational manner, then for the love of Betty White, don’t say it on facebook! Passive Aggressive Facebook Updates

DON’T whine all the dang time about your illnesses, maladies, aches and pains! I mean, every once in awhile is fine. But you don’t need prayer every time your eczema flares up. I have precious friends who truly have serious conditions, and they might post about it once a week, if that often. And then it’s just an update, (and hopefully a praise!). There’s a huge difference between sounding like an attention seeking hypochondriac and someone who truly needs, and is counting on, our prayers.

DON’T post about politics ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Here’s what’s going to happen if you do that. You will distance yourself from people who love you and care about you, but get tired of seeing that crap plastered all over their facebook feed. They’ll stop “liking” your posts, and facebook will interpret that as meaning they don’t want to see your posts at all. Like ever. So when you actually do post a real status update, nobody will see it, except for the few folks who interact with your political stuff. I’ve been unfollowing every single person on my feed who only posts politics, and I’ve been ruthless about it. I highly recommend it! You’re still friends with cousin Jim, you just won’t see every stupid, misspelled political meme he posts every five seconds.

DON’T share your family’s dirty laundry on social media. So you’re mad at your kids, uncles, aunts whatever. They’ve done something you perceive as wrong or hurtful. Please resist the urge to share your anger on Facebook.  (see passive aggressive above) I wince in pain whenever I see posts like this. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage being done. You need to realize that once something is on the internet, it’s there FOREVER. Even if you delete it. Who knows where your relationship might be in a few years. Do you really want a stupid Facebook post to come between you and possible reconciliation with your family or friends?

DON’T share photos of friends, relatives and children without permission. I’ve learned this the hard way. Some people simply don’t want to be on social media at all. And children, especially, should be protected at all costs. There’s some real creepers out there y’all. If you have a group photo, and one friend doesn’t want to be on Facebook, use a blur tool, or simply crop her out. Or don’t take her picture in the first place. Be respectful of her wishes. Your friendship is much more valuable than a facebook post.

And now a few DO’s:

DO your homework before sharing that giveaway or juicy news item. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Mercedes ain’t giving away cars, and Disney is NOT giving away cruises just because you shared a picture. Those are fake accounts, and they’re just messing with you! Verified accounts on Facebook will have a checkmark by the name of the company or person. Always, always look for that checkmark.

DO realize that just because it’s a meme from a Facebook “news” page, it’s not necessarily true or accurate, even if you kind of sort of think it might be. Again, research that info! Think for yourself! Sharing that stuff is just clutter for brains and worse, you might actually be sharing blatant lies. and purposeful misinformation aka “fake news”.

DO think a minute before you post something. Proofread. Check for typos. And think. Does this post uplift, inspire, make people happy? Do people really need to see this? Do I really want people to see this? Because like I stated earlier, once it’s out there, it’s out there. Forever and ever amen.

DO have fun on social media! Share your real-life funny stories. Share your kiddo’s accomplishments! Share those funny memes, gifs and pictures. And recipes. Especially share recipes! And puppies and kittens and baby goats. There’s so much happy to go around! Share it!

DO interact with business pages you like. (like mine here). If you see something on a page you enjoyed, be sure to click the like button, or better yet, reply to the post! That little action helps those of us with pages stay above water. Share relevant content that speaks to your heart. 

And one last little bonus DO: Put down your phones every once in awhile, smile at the person sitting next to you, or across from you at the table, and have an actual conversation. Now that’s a true social connection!

As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog. What social media Do’s or Don’ts would you like to share with me? Leave a comment below!


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