Like most of you, I post and read on social media almost everyday. Occassionally I post and read posts multiple times each day. It seems as though social media, by it’s very nature feeds an already unhealthy narcissism in many of our lives. We rarely see someone use Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to convey their failures and setbacks. Most every post is a picture of how good we are doing or how awesome the evening is with the sun falling across the lake, ocean, river, mountains, pond, track, field, pool…etc, etc, etc.
I’m sure that there are some rules of social media etiquette out there somewhere, but they must be hidden from most of us! I thought I might make a few suggestions with my Ten Commandments of Social Media…both for me and possibly, you!
- Brevity: In an culture that is literally changing at the speed of light…Make your point and your post with clarity, or humor, or sarcasm, or sincerity – but always with brevity.
- Humility: I know, I know, not every picture of you with a new trophy or suntan or boat or car or anything else isn’t inherently bad. But if 80% of your posts are about you, we might have a problem.
- Sincerity: Even if you are one of the brilliant people or the creative wizards, mean what you say, but say it in love.
- Patiently: Not every post demands a reply. Not every statement demands and rebuttal and not every friend, follower or fan needs to remain your friend, follower or fan. If you want to express your dislike or distaste or frustration, do it privately, in person and in love.
- Empathetically: Sometimes folks just need to know you care. They may not need your story, or your thoughts on how they should fix it…just care.
- Carefully: Whatever you post is your ongoing life’s saga. If you aren’t sure you’d want a future employer, parent, pastor, or partner to see it today or ten years from now, just resist the urge. I’ve had plenty of regretful posts by me and/or about me. Tread carefully.
- Cautiously: I’m pretty bad about saying and posting something without regard to who I might be wounding or hurting. I recall a rather flippant post a few years ago that was never intended to hurt anyone, and yet in hindsight, it was completely inappropriate. I took more than a few lunches to get around to all the “I’m Sorry’s.”
- Authentically: If your are going to use somebody else’s quote, thought or brand…give them credit for it.
- Encouragingly: You choose…You can use your platform to encourage or to beat the crud out of people. Anybody can be a bully. Why be anybody?
- Spiritually: If you are willing to post pics of the sunset from your beachside condo, or your kid winning the trophy, or the awesome meal you enjoyed at Ruth’s Chris, why are you not willing to share a pic from your church, or an invitation to your church, or a shout out about your church? Just sayin.
See you online!