By Chris Clemente
The internet is a treasure trove of inspirational stories, and social media have made it so much easier to share them with just a click of a button. But it's just as easy for people to turn something beautiful into something else just by a few comments.
It’s those kinds of things that give social media a bad name. Here are other social media practices that everyone needs to keep in check:
There’s a line—or rather, there should be–between amusing and TMI (too much information.) We don’t know if it’s because these social media platforms are perennially asking "What's happening?" or "What’s on your mind?" or it’s because people have that innate urge to (over)share details of their lives.
In any case, everyone should know their limits. Not everybody wants to know what you and your S.O. are fighting about or what you ate for breakfast-lunch-and-dinner every single day. After all, it might be better to just keep some mystery about yourself in these public platforms.
2. Being a NEGA-tron
There’s already too much hate in the world, and we can all use one less angry person in it. If you have nothing good to say, it’s best to fight that urge to type anything in the box. Sometimes people are quick to judge without thinking about the real reason behind a photo or a status. In this day and age of fake news and manipulated photos, the responsible thing to do is to find out what’s behind people’s motivations for posting whatever it is they posted. Sometimes the wrong comment can literally end a person’s life—whether by causing undue stress on the person, or by provoking a mob of fanatics to react violently and take matters into their own hands. So, be responsible.
3. Comparing lives
You are aware that what people post are the really good things about their lives, right? It’s probably not all that behind the lens, the hashtags, and the witty captions. (Which is totally fine too, btw.) Don’t think that your life is nothing compared to others’ lives on social media. Everybody wants to project highlight reels for the audience to see. The moment you feel that tinge of jealousy, it’s time to click off the iPad and get some real perspective.
Whether it's captioning your luxury travel photos with "Money can't buy happiness" or posting your on-point selfie while saying you're having a bad hair day, humble-bragging of any sort can be quite annoying and may even make others feel smaller. Instead of fishing for nice comments to make yourself feel even better, why not spread positivity in a more sincere way? We won't judge you if you're proud of your makeup for the day, so go ahead and say it loud and proud without the humble brag!
5. Politically wrong posts
Political posts can be too much for social media for a few reasons. People have different loyalties and feelings about political issues, and you probably know that some of your friends don’t always share the same views. This could spell disaster on many levels.
There should be nothing wrong with voicing your opinions on your wall, but a certain amount of grace and sensitivity is best practiced. More importantly, a decent knowledge of a particular issue you are arguing for or against is a must. If you're really that aggressive about your views, you just have to be ready for easily triggered netizens who may come at you!
6. Selfies galore
There’s been a lot of debate about selfies and what they say about someone’s psychological disposition. But some experts have pointed out the implications of someone posting their face 20 times a day which suggests that they have underlying self-esteem issues and are looking for validation based on their physical appearance.
We’re all a bit guilty of this one, but not everyone who does it have low self-esteem. If you do feel that sometimes you’re doing it for validation, then perhaps you do have some inner work to do.
Occasional ranting is okay. Heck, it’s understandable especially when it’s about the traffic or the terrible things that are happening around us. But if most of what you spew out in your status are random complaints about your partner, your mother, your father, that tricycle driver, that below-par meal served to you, then you’re being a ranter, and worse, you’re spreading the vibe around! Chances are you’ve been unfollowed or unfriended by a lot of people. Don’t let this be you.
How many of your Facebook friends are your actual friends? Let me pose this challenge to you, look through your list, and count how many you’ve actually had a conversation with in person. Just because it’s easy to connect with people now doesn’t mean you should just add whoever just to raise your numbers (or to stalk them, nobody likes a lurker!)
Remember, you post personal things on your wall and ideally it should be seen by a safe circle, a circle you trust. If you have people there you don’t really know and they’re connected to other strangers and those strangers are connected to dubious characters, well… you get the picture.
9. Trolling (or engaging with trolls)
What is trolling? When you Google it, it means to “make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.” These nega-peeps are dime a dozen. You can see them in every viral post. They can get really annoying and the worst part is, they’re really good at baiting you for an argument. So don’t fall for it!
The bottomline is that social media is here to stay. It’s something that’s part of our daily lives, and it’s evolving and expanding its reach. That makes it more difficult to draw lines, to put boundaries, and to keep up with the dos and don’ts of online behavior which is why it has also become more important to keep yourself in check and always practice proper etiquette.
ALSO READ: Cheat Sheet: 5 Better Ways to Use Your Time Online
Originally published in NoInk. Edits have been made.
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