Internet Smarts: Mind Your Manners Online

One of the very first posts here at Persephone Magazine was on Internet┬áSmarts. There Selena reminded the world to use a screen name, don’t pick fights and don’t post drunk.

I’d like to add to that list, with the theme of Using Good Manners Online:

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… 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??

3 replies on “Internet Smarts: Mind Your Manners Online”

Only one relative knows about my blog, my bro. I never FB because (1) I believe it is inherently evil *wink*; (2) don’t want people in my (un) real life in Bankersville to know who I really am, what I am really about; (3) most of the people I’ve known pre-Jezebel and pre-tumblr are fools.

Even on tumblr I use fake names, although once in a while my ADD prevents me from fastidiously proofreading. All hail the Edit button.

1. My mom reads my blog. I asked her to read it. I don’t do a ton of personal blogging these days, but I’ve always followed the rule that if I don’t want my mother to see it, it doesn’t belong online.

2. Had this happen to me. Ouch. Not fun.

3-4. I don’t always do this, but I never post pictures of children without permission.

5. I haven’t logged into Facebook in ages. FourSquare I don’t use. Period. Maybe it is an age thing, and being able to remember a time when not every aspect of your life was published online, it holds little appeal.

Leave a Reply