I have written before that when I am bothered, I write. I am writing now because I am bothered. I have written previously about social media in general and Facebook in particular. I am writing again about social media in general and Facebook in particular.
I have been a frequent user of Facebook for several years. Although I am also on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, I post more and read more of others’ posts on Facebook than any of the other sites. And although I know there are more social media sites than these I mention, I cannot tell you what they are. I know that acknowledgment dates me. So be it; I can only keep up with so much!
Let me make a few disclaimers before I go any further. I am sure that I have made and continue to make every mistake I am listing. I write and teach what I need to continue to learn. So please do not think my message is just for my readers; it is most of all for me. Perhaps it can help others as well. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. It is what is on my heart at the moment. And the points are true for any communication, not just social media communication in general and/or Facebook in particular.
When communicating on social media, remember:
- Before putting a post up about a party, consider whether some who will see the post will feel excluded if they were not invited to the party. This is true for children’s parties, but it is also true for parties of adults. Of course, everyone cannot be and even shouldn’t be invited to our parties, but let’s consider how to avoid doing anything that hurts others.
- Avoid using social media to announce things to your closest friends and family that you could pick up the phone and call and tell them or write about in a personal note to them. This is particularly true about major events in our lives. Of course, it is easier and quicker to announce things on social media to the masses and that is fine for things you are announcing to the masses if you need to do that at all. Please note my qualifier: use a more personal approach with closest friends and family.
- Do you really want to alienate a large group of people just to make your voice heard? This is especially true about political and social issues, things about which we often have different opinions. Do we really think we are going to change anyone’s opinions about these issues by what we post on social media?
- Before we post anything, even something we think is totally positive, we should consider how others we know who will read it will read it. The reason I am writing this blog post is mainly due to this point. Nothing more needs to be said about that.
- If you are connected to others on social media, do your part to keep the connection going. Yes, that does take time, but it can be done in a manageable amount of time. We each have to decide how much of our time we are willing and able to commit to this means of communication. But let’s do our part.
- What we post on social media represents us. Do we really want profanity, negativity, and attacks to be how others perceive us? Communicating effectively is hard work, even when we do all that we think we can to be positive and appropriate. Eliminating things that can be barriers to communicating well with a variety of people with different value systems and other differences helps us stay out of trouble!
There are more points that could be made, and probably will be in a subsequent post, when I am bothered again about these issues! Until then I will go. I must spend some time connecting with my social media friends. This will take more time than normal since I must remember what I have just written. How soon we can forget.