The way people socialize has evolved significantly throughout the years. The parents of the millennial generation did not have the same level of instantaneous communication that we have today. With email, texting, FaceTime, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, dating apps, and more, we can communicate anywhere at any time. Our social boundaries have been blown wide open.
It can be noted that the increase in ways to communicate seems to cause a decrease in social etiquette. We say things on social media that we wouldn’t say in person. We ignore phone calls from our friends and family, we ghost people we are dating, and we struggle to be present with people when we’re distracted by our screens. We need to relearn social etiquette in the age of social media.
Social Etiquette Tips for Social Media
–Set boundaries with the people who you regularly communicate with. Let people know if you would prefer to not communicate after a certain time of night, or if you would rather they text you instead of making a phone call. You can set whatever boundaries work for you.
–If you are engaging in political debates on social media, remain objective and polite. People lose friends over political debates on social media, and the conversations tend to be emotionally charged. It is easy to take things out of context from just reading the words on a screen.
–RSVP to social media events rather than ignoring them. This is especially true for invitations from family and friends. It can be easy to overlook or procrastinate your response to invitations, but making the effort to RSVP is considerate.
–Put smartphones away during meals or other social gatherings. I think most people have been frustrated by a situation where they are trying to spend time with someone who is otherwise preoccupied with their smartphone. Be courteous and put the phone away, or even turn it off if you are someone who struggles with the temptation to check it.
–Communicate as your authentic self. Some people tend to write things on social media or through text that they wouldn’t say to in person. This can be okay to do if your words are a reflection of your authentic self, but not so much okay if you’re allowing screens to diminish your empathy.
–Think carefully before you share personal information on social media. Social media isn’t private. We have all seen the people who seem to share too much on social media. It helps to consider your audience and modify your privacy settings if you’d like to hide certain posts from certain people.
–If you are sharing someone else’s quote, art, or information, give credit to them. This helps you to cultivate your authentic self on social media, and it can help promote the work of others in a positive way.
–Don’t ignore messages from people who matter to you. It’s okay to take some time for yourself for self-care, but make sure you eventually follow up with people. Send a quick message saying you’ll get back to them later. It can be hurtful to see that someone is active on a social media platform but ignoring your message.
–Distinguish personal and business social media accounts. This can be helpful for people who are in a professional role. You can set boundaries with other professionals this way as well; you don’t need to be friends with your colleagues on your personal account.
–Ask permission before you tag someone in photos or posts. Take the thoughtful approach, and it will be noticed and appreciated by family and friends.
Using these social etiquette tips on social media will help to set you apart from those who lack self-awareness or consideration for others. We are a small community in Buffalo, and it will help you enormously to take simple steps towards an improved social media presence.
Christine Frank, LMSW
Christine understands what it’s like when you’re trying your hardest and an invisible hand is holding you back. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, or stupid, or unworthy of good things—it just means you could use some help. It helps to connect with someone who knows that your stories are worth listening to. Christine will hear your story. She’s a great listener.
Christine is easy-going, friendly, empathetic, non-judgmental. She’s funny and real in a down to earth way. She loves working with pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults to help them move through those difficult life transitions where a person can feel lost.
With Christine’s guidance and encouragement you can take the first step to a happier, healthier life.
716.430.4611 | firstname.lastname@example.org