One of the very first posts here at Persephone Magazine was on Internet Smarts. There Selena reminded the world to use a screen name, don’t pick fights and don’t post drunk.
1) Don’t tell Facebook things you haven’t told your mother. Your cousin will read it and tell her mother, and then your mother will know. Or maybe your mother will read it directly, and wonder why you chose to tell her only in the same breathe that you also told your friend from summer camp you haven’t actually spoken to in person since summer camp. Just call her first, then post it if you must.
2) Don’t talk about things which exclude specific people which may hurt their feelings. When you are out to lunch with five friends ,and three of you did something together sort of intentionally leaving out the other two…..do you bring it up? No. Same rules apply on the internet. Of course you want to blog about the super-cool-thing-you-did with so and so. But should you?
3) Be careful with photos. Ask permission before posting, especially of people’s children. Ask if they want their children identified by name, or don’t identify them.
4) On the same token, if you’re posting pictures of a party, don’t photoshop people out. Just don’t do it. Or if you do it, don’t post the photo as public. The person knows they’ve been photoshopped out. Now why would you do that?
5) Be careful with Facebook Places ,FourSquare and the like. Do I care that my brother checked into a strip club at 2am on a Tuesday? No. Will my second-cousin, who happens to be a nun in Nebraska notice or care? I don’t know. Maybe in this case, an extra prayer would be helpful. Anyway, you get the idea. Do you want all 450 of your friends to know that you’re getting your upper lip waxed at WaxWorks? No? Then don’t check in and share it on Facebook!
As the people become more addicted to Social Media, and more addicted to the draw of attention it can bring, I think many lessons in basic manners will be thrown by the wayside. There privacy options available, and in general, they should be utilized more often. I know, I know, you don’t get the same “likes” or “comments” or “shares” if you keep things so very private, but you may also keep some relationships in better shape by not being rude in a public forum.
Yes, in case you were wondering, something in the Social Media world has gotten under my skin today. But I won’t say what it is, exactly, because it’s rude.
What have I missed? What other Internet Faux Pax cause you to shake your head and wonder about the future of civilization??