Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Rules of the Game

     Billions of people use Facebook and Twitter every day. I love them both, as I am by nature, a nosy person and love to see what everyone else is up to that I know. It's a blessing and a curse, as I probably spend more time than I should on these sites every day. It's my favorite hobby. Not only has Facebook kept me in touch with friends and family, but the things people share with me via these internet outlets have kept me laughing and given me support and love every day of my life. However, there are those people who just don't seem to understand that there are rules and manners that should be followed online and that you have to have thick skin sometimes when it comes to online communication. The following is just my observation and what I feel everyone should practice when it comes to social media.

  1. Don't fight online. It may seem simple enough, but it's really easy to go off the deep end on someone about something online that you may not want to deal with later on in person. Learn to keep your hands off the keyboard. It's one thing to state your opinion and debate on a topic of interest, but keep your emotions out of it. Don't name call and don't instigate. Be respectful or be quiet. 
  2. It's perfectly fine to update your status as often as you see fit, but overkill may cause you to have your friends unfriend you or hide you from their news feed. I like to update my status often, and some apps I use update my page frequently, but that's more for my own use than to keep the rest of the world in the know. However, there is a difference in ranting all day long over and over again about the same thing than sharing events as they happen throughout the day. Expect your friend who just had a baby to clog your news feed with thousands of pictures of their new bundle of joy. It's a parent's right and they can't help themselves. Expect your friend who's on an awesome vacation to post a ton of pictures of a great place you wish you could be. They want you to be jealous, and you probably will be. Be jealous, but be happy for them and comment all over that crap. Live vicariously through their photos. That's what I do, anyway. If someone is annoying you, learn how to unsubscribe from their updates. You can always go back to their page as you like to check in on them. Kind of like the old MySpace days (dare I say it). 
  3. People like me who play games on Facebook will probably send you game requests. I have a ton on my page everyday, but for those games I don't play, it's really easy to hide or block that particular game. Don't complain about people sending you game requests. Just block the app and move on. 
  4. Use the option to put different people in different groups and take the time to share your pictures and statuses with only the appropriate groups. You may not want to share your weekend party pics with your boss, so take advantage of the features available to you. Don't make an ass out of yourself unnecessarily. If you have to think about whether or not you should be posting it online for others to see, you may not want to post it at all. 
  5. Stop complaining about the changes the site is making. Adapt, grow, learn. It won't kill you, I promise. More times than not, the changes are for the better. Some people are so resistant to change that they FREAK OUT when the slightest thing changes. Routine makes for a dull brain. Learn the new way and eventually you will see that it's better. Don't be so stubborn. Expand your brain a little. 
  6. Remember, it's everyone's own personal account. They can post what they want, but it's your decision to react to it or not to. When in doubt, don't react. 
I think social media is great. It is a great way for people to keep in touch, and a great way for businesses to get their name out there. You may choose to leave social media for a while, but in truth, I think it's the user who's going to miss out. Life on the internets will go on without you, but you risk missing out on a lot by deleting your account because you got butthurt over what some idiot said online. It's not going anywhere, and it's only going to evolve over time. Get on board and enjoy the ride, just learn how to use it for your individual benefit, and we'll all get along just fine.