At some point in our lives (hopefully), we were schooled on the importance of minding our manners and the appropriateness of etiquette in our daily interactions with people. During this time, we regularly said please and thank you, treated others how we want to be treated, waited for someone to finish before speaking and acted inconspicuously and politely if recognizing someone out in public we had met previously.
...And then came social networking.
I've mentioned this before, and I'll say it again: social networks like Facebook and Twitter (just to name a few) are great for connecting, sharing and interacting with people beyond our normal professional and social circles. It's a powerful tool if used wisely. It's a powerful explosive if abused. It's NOT an automatic license for people to act like complete jags and throw respect by the wayside.
If you're a bit rusty on what constitutes as manners or etiquette online, let me refresh your memory:
- Thank You. Just because you're participating in a casual online environment, doesn't mean you can't thank people for being nice, sharing something you posted or throwing a compliment your way. Plus not saying thank you makes you look like a jerk.
- Respect. When you respect others, others will respect you. It's earned; it's not a God-given right. Be aware of your environment and the conversations going on around you and adjust your behavior accordingly. If your sole purpose online is to treat people like caca, don't expect to be included or responded to very often.
- Your Introduction, Hello, and Goodbye. Just like any face-to-face or phone conversation, introductions are essential. It's intimidating being the new kid to social circles, especially ones that have been established for quite some time. So, rather than barge in and start talking smack, feel out the crowd and when appropriate, say hello, then interact.
- Don't Be the Creep. Occasionally, you'll have opportunities (planned and unplanned) to meet the people you interact with online, outside of the social playgrounds. Sometimes, you may recognize a person by their avatar, but are a bit nervous to say hello. That's fine, we all experience that. HOWEVER ‚Äď it's not cool to stare at a person while they're eating, or pretend to check your smartphone when really you're taking a picture of them ‚Äď and your sound level is so loud that the shutter click is overheard. You've earned yourself bona fide creep status by doing that.
My manners list could certainly be a mile long. And yes we're all human beings and slip up. No big deal. What DOES become a big deal is if you're a habitual offender and earn yourself the label of an online troll. This could really come back to bite you in the arse if you ever need to rely on those online communities you offended, for professional purposes.
Sign when you send a text!?!?! Are you kidding? It's not 1999 anymore. Most people have contacts in their phone, or contacts sync with google, apple, etc. Who signs text messages? Do you still write "lol?" I can send you my pager number if you have an issue with this post.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Katie Klein
Published Sept. 12, 2012
The day started out like any other. And then my email notification popped up. Team Paxton began that day, and now we want you to join the fight.
Published July 13, 2012
Recently while getting my hair cut, I had some pretty hysterical conversations. The kind of verbal exchanges that leave you needing to whiz in your drawers, give you a belly ache from a much-needed laughing fit, or allow you to voice a hearty "hell yes" out loud.
Published May 3, 2012
For once, I'm going to try and keep this post short. Let's see how this goes, shall we? Two words, from me to you - yes, all of you. Thank you.
Published April 11, 2012
As I stare at my empty mug, I think about legacies. Recent events like the fall from grace (and eventual death of) JoePa - and the contributions that social media had during the turmoil - lead me to wonder how the participation (or lack thereof) in social networks will factor into one's legacy, either on a personal level or even from a branding perspective.
Published April 2, 2012
Not only has spring officially sprung, it's also t-minus one month or so until a new eager crop of fresh-eyed college graduates enter the workforce. I welcome you youngins'; congratulations on graduating and beginning the next chapter of your professional life. HOWEVER. This blog post is for you. Take what I'm about to say to heart.
Published March 20, 2012
It's not every day that I wish I were a man. I enjoy being a female, albeit a nice, balanced blend of tough chick and feminine lady. But today, man, it would have been nice to be a dude.
Published Feb. 28, 2012
This is an open letter to all businesses (restaurants, retail shops, etc.) in the Milwaukee area that provide a restroom for their patrons. Clean them. Frequently.
Published Jan. 7, 2012
If you've followed me on Twitter or have read any of my previous posts, you already know the love-hate relationship I have with Facebook's functionality, its intentional and dedicated stalker mechanisms, and its screwed up merry-go-round of privacy issues that never seem to be fully addressed.
Published Dec. 6, 2011
Now that I'm well past the year 30-mile marker and rapidly closing the chapter on yet another year, it's time for the obligatory "let's reflect on everything that I still have yet to do in my life." Ironically, as this thought was doing figure eights in my brain, I was I having a conversation with a friend about the crazy things we've done in life, and how wicked awesome it would be if we could have a do-over sometimes.
Published Nov. 7, 2011
This Friday (hey, that's 11-11-11) could be your lucky night. Not only lucky for you, but for the hundreds of Milwaukee area teens who'll benefit from your attendance to the third annual Night by the River supporting local non-profit ArtWorks for Milwaukee.