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10 Things to Never Do On Social Media

…unless you want to make a lasting negative first impression.

1. Never curse copiously and needlessly. It makes you seem like a twelve-year-old boy trying trying to impress all the other 12-year-old boys.

2. Never publicly disrespect a person who is widely respected and who has worked hard and long for that respect. Unless you hope to never inspire any respect for your own work.

3. Never walk away from a bully. Always stand up to a bully, even if only momentarily. If we don’t, soon the Internet will be crawling with bullies. On the Internet, a bully is a person who puts down others or treats others disrespectfully for their own glory.

4. Never be presumptuous with a person you are conversing with on social media. Use formality and formal channels when formality is expected. Don’t badger people. If you need more of a person’s time, seek a formal arrangement.

5. Never think that standing up to a bully makes you a bully. It doesn’t. It makes you brave. It lets a bully know that he or she may not walk all over you.

6. Never tolerate behavior online that you would not tolerate in your own living room. Set your following/unfollowing, friending/unfriending dials accordingly.

7. Never think: all people are good/kind/helpful or any other such nonsense. Most people are good/kind/helpful but a small percentage truly seem bent on getting in their own way and everyone else’s. Avoid such people.

8. Never think your job in platform-building is to create a holier image of yourself. It’s not. If your platform is going to last, you’re going to need to be a real, fallible person. Try to be one with a low tolerance for baloney because there is plenty of it to go around. You are going to have to say no to quite a bit of baloney over the years.

9. Never befriend people who act crazy online. Ask, would I want this person in my living room? If the answer is no, then don’t be online friends either. Every time you friend or follow folks, it’s like a vote. Don’t vote for people who act crazy or bully others.

10. Finally, never think that social networking replaces cultivating a real life. It doesn’t. Social networking compliments and expands your real life. Unplug once and a while to make sure your real life is not getting neglected.

Try to remember that everything you say and do on social media is being recorded permanently. If you make a mistake, correct it. If you are not sure what you are doing, get informed.

There’s no need to be fearful about using social media. But there are a hundred reasons to use it wisely rather than recklessly.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Julie Hedlund February 19, 2012, 7:56 am

    Great advice! Especially the last one.  I think people forget that all the time.

  • Jessica Baverstock February 19, 2012, 8:30 am

    This is a really good list. Thank  you!

    I was wondering if you have any further guidelines on dealing with bullies. I’ve seen some situations where the discussion turns into a mudslinging match which ends badly for both sides.

  • Karl Sprague February 19, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Christine, thanks for a helpful perspective. As Julie mentioned, I especially like the last idea. I hope that you don’t have scars and bruises from being on the receiving end of the treatment you describe – and you’ve witnessed this behavior from a distance!

  • Patricia Carroll February 20, 2012, 10:38 am

    Good suggestions. Really liked the last one. 

  • essaywriter.org February 21, 2012, 6:52 am

    Great site.Thanks for sharing. but very short article.

  • fifiphil February 22, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Excellent advice. I spend a lot of time on my blogs, website, FB and Twitter, plus writing sites and emailing clients so I do my best to be well behaved. I shall keep a copy of this post to remind me when I’m feeling naughty.

  • Thea | Write Change Grow February 23, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Hi Christina 
    Great list.  I particularly agree with number 1.  I see people using bad language and being horrible to people on FB and it is such a turn off. I like the analogy of someone being in your living room.  Very true, I will remember that going forward.

  • Ted Henkle February 25, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Great advice!