Forgive me for the use of an exclamation point (!) in the title. Nope, I am not angry. Rather, there is a tinge of disappointment by how lots of people, including those in the academe, use social media irresponsibly nowadays. First, allow me to jog your memory as to what SOCIAL MEDIA really means and proceed by giving some thoughts, call it preaching or nudging, on how to be on the right track towards becoming the most responsible social media user on the web.
Here is how the net defines the term.
Originally, social media is for sharing one’s thoughts, notes, pictures or videos to update our friends and loved ones about what’s been happening in our lives lately. The intention is not to broadcast to the whole world, except perhaps if you are a celebrity or a public figure, what you do in detail for each moment of your life. Neither is it used as a vehicle to bully someone you don’t like nor as an excuse to engage in an online WORD war against your enemies. On the contrary, it was designed to deepen our friendship with others, to rekindle old memories with acquaintances whom we seldom meet, or to gain even more friends.
Clearly, the SOCIAL part of the term comes first before MEDIA, or the internet, to give emphasis that the jargon was introduced as a way to INTERACT with other persons either by SHARING a wide variety of information with them and RECEIVING information from them as well. As expected, there are many types of social media platforms anyone can use. Social networking, being the most popular type, is one of them along with blogging, podcasting, photo sharing and gaming. Here is the social WEB as a reference.
NOW, back to my goal for this blog: BECOMING A RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA USER. Let me be very straightforward by using the first letters of the word R-E-S-P-O-N-D to drive at my point. (Actually, I was just inspired by the acrostics that my son participated in during their nutrition month program…:)
R is for RESPECT. Due respect should be given to other persons’ posts. Refrain from giving snide remarks when we don’t like what we see or read. The old adage still holds in this digital age, that is, RESPECT begets respect.
E is for EXCELLENCE. Not all of us are perfectionists and we do not write using the perfect tenses. However, we should strive for excellence when it comes to the content of our blogs or notes. A helpful suggestion is to READ and RE-READ what we have just typed before deciding to press that BIG ENTER button in the keyboard. But when you are a teacher, you owe it to your students to become a good role model when it comes to giving comments or to just simply posting whatever those brain cells tell you to encode. One advice from our mother’s professor is this: IF IT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT, THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING WRONG.
“… let us utilize social media to BUILD BRIDGES and not to CREATE WALLS.”
S is for SELF-REGULATION. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are no censorship bodies out there to police every post you make. But please, before hitting the OK or Publish button, think again and again about how your peers will react. We don’t have to please everyone I know but we have THE control about how we want others to perceive us.
P is for PURPOSE. Be reflective in using social media. What’s YOUR MAIN AGENDA behind posting the new dress you bought or the sumptuous expensive food you are about to eat? What will you gain from sharing your recent misadventures and problems in public? Again, think before you click.
O is for ORDER. We do not want to create confusion about who we are as a person. To avoid that, be very logical and consistent about what we share regarding ourselves. You present yourself to be a messy person and your friends will perceive you as such. But try to be prim and proper and your “trust” rating will be boosted.
N is for NETIQUETTE. Observe some ethics whenever you post. Ask yourself: “Will anyone’s sensibilities be offended by what I am showing or posting over the net?” We might have that it-is-my-wall-it-is-my-site excuse to justify this behavior but then again, there have to be some boundaries.
D is for DISCIPLINE. C’mmon, your friends have many REAL tasks to do other than just gawk at your memes, problems and selfies every minute. Will ONE or TWO posts be not enough for the day to let others know that you are still alive and doing well? More is less and less is more. Post only what is important and you’ll get more likes and comments. Do it every second and NOBODY will care about YOU anymore. Flooding other’s walls with just your own is SO IRRITATING that some might be tempted to unfollow or unfriend you instead.
SO there you have it. R-E-S-P-O-N-D. Respond to these tips and be the responsible social media user everyone expects to be. And remember this, let us utilize social media to BUILD BRIDGES and not to CREATE WALLS. So go on and POST now responsibly!