Today’s digital landscape demands that we transfer the etiquette we’ve been taught to apply to our every day lives to our digital personas. Just as we want to present our best selves to the world in face-to-face interactions, it’s important to apply the same frame of mind when approaching the online community. This is because the online community is just that – a community – a place buzzing with social interaction and interactivity.
Social media management authority, Hootsuite, summarizes this idea well in their video Social Media Etiquette: Play by the Rules, which states: “As social media is a place for personal expression, it’s also a public environment you share with your community.” The video stresses the importance of understanding the appropriate behaviour and nuances as a participant on social media and the web. As a result of the emergence of Web 2.0, we now have the freedom to express our views and opinions, as well as to converse freely with our peers and larger organizations. It’s crucial that we make the most of what this privilege has to offer by cultivating a respectful environment through proper online etiquette.
So what exactly does this entail? While its safe to say that most of the guidelines revolving around digital etiquette stem from good judgment and common sense, here are my top three tips to keep in mind when presenting yourself online:
- Don’t post any content that you wouldn’t want your mother to see. This rule of thumb will keep you looking professional and also ensure that your accounts are employer friendly
- Proper grammar still applies. While the “140 characters or less” mindset may pose a challenge at times, it’s important to consistently present your ideas in an eloquent way
- Don’t hide behind your keyboard. While it should go without saying, don’t use the Internet as a means to bully others or to spread hateful content