Social Media Etiquette, From Wedding To Work
Social media was once a benign tool on which to maintain old friendships, or perhaps establish new ones. Unfortunately, as AP News’ roundup of fake-news-spreading accounts highlights, social networks platforms now often act in ways that are way out of the control of the users, having severe impacts for them, their friends, and their family. The shifting face of social media means it’s not so straightforward as to what is or isn’t acceptable these days. Knowing your social media etiquette inside out, and applying it to every aspect of your life, will help you to show respect for yourself and for your circle.
Social media is a window into the private lives of everyone who posts to it regularly. As a result, there’s little way to escape scrutiny – and, by extension, you can invite scrutiny on friends through otherwise innocuous postings. The University of South Florida’s social media etiquette advisory highlights the important nature of this. You should always gain consent from friends when making posts, whether that’s a photo or a check-in – regardless of their reasoning. This becomes even more important at events. Take a wedding, for instance – the couple may want an unplugged wedding, and it’s your responsibility to ensure their day goes exactly as they want it to. Respect your circle, and don’t be carefree with posts.
Protecting your information and identity is a crucial part of social media etiquette principles, because it will help to protect you in the long-run. Social media-based identity theft is rife, according to cybersecurity experts Norton. The amount of information and photographs that individuals put on to the web enables criminals to build a full picture of them without ever having to resort to more coercive methods of obtaining data. Keep your social media private to your circle, and be wary about what you post – don’t put your phone number on there, your address, or anything else that could be used against you.
A glance at the Department of the Interior’s social media guide for federal employees highlights important principles that apply across all jobs and industries. At work, you are a representative of your employee. Any actions taken on social media, any opinions posted, that then are linked to your employer, can put them in hot water. That can mean something as simple as reputational damage through to full-blown legal action. The principle of separating private and work life on social media has been in place for a number of years, but it never hurts to refresh yourself. Make sure that you are absolutely clear on social media as to what capacity you speak in. If you work for a federal body, don’t post opinions – positive or negative – concerning topics involving the work you do.
The modern social media machine demands thoughtfulness. You should approach everything you do with careful thought for your own safety and that of your peers. Anything less is a risk – and not one you want to take in the modern digital era.