8 rules of social media behaviour that schools didn’t teach you

8 rules of social media behaviour that schools didn’t teach you
8 rules of social media behaviour that schools didn’t teach you
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Online Etiquette is not on the curriculum of most schools. So it's largely a matter of figuring out for ourselves based on the broader code of genteel conduct. Guess its time someone put together some broad rules of politeness to mull over.

1.       Anyone can be an anonymous heckler. Remember that jerk you saw in the mob personally or on TV – that uncouth hoodlum who ? Well, that’s you in the online space when you shove your unsolicited comments down the throats of people on a thread you don’t have any reason to be. Yes, I understand you are curious about the noise emanating from the house that you are passing by. It is human to peek and eavesdrop if they have left their doors and windows open. But you can’t shove and push your way into the centre of that argument and be the loudest proponent of a view that is not required, not requested or even solicited.

2.       If you have a photo of a rose or a cartoon character or drooling baby as your profile picture, don’t send friend requests to random strangers. Or should we address it to the random strangers receiving these requests? Why would you befriend some stranger, even if they have a familiar name if they are not even willing to show you their face online?

3.       Stop spamming walls of every friend and their uncle who you befriended with your causes, forward or that awful photo of you and your friends standing in front of McDonald’s. Let’s not get into game requests to all and sundry, send it to those who you know are playing the game. Spare the rest of humanity

4.       We are impressed that you are impressed by quotes of Rumi, Paolo Coelho, Chetan Bhagat and whoever is the current flavour of the season. But that strictly stays on your wall. Yes, I can choose to restrict who views posts I’m tagged in, but I’d rather not be tagged at all! PS: Half of these quotes are not even theirs. Some enterprising soul is passing off pure drivel as theirs.

5.       Thanks to social networking sites, you are the star of your own prime and non-prime time discussions. Patriotism, Nationalism and Loyalty are all admirable traits, but if it only has facebook post-value, tweet-value and perhaps Instagram-value, then boo to you. You are no better than the politicians spewing insincere platitudes while nothing reflects in their public work. And if you are one of those shameless trolls, who loves to spent most of your day cruising people’s walls looking for opportunities to unleash vitriol or just pure bile, then remember, soon, very soon, you could be facing legal action for being an online nuisance.

Just because laws are vague and largely non-existent on social bullying does not mean some are not on the way.

6.       Drunken/drugged rants and ravings are best done to a restricted audience. If you are a celebrity or mini-celebrity among your peer group, steer clear. You might delete it when sanity returns, but cached copies are a pain to deal with, they pop up as bitter aftertaste to remind you what you said when you perhaps least meant it.

7.       Riots, Terror Attacks, Yakub Memon’s Hanging, Domestic Violence, Mob justice – everyone has an opinion on everything current affairs and rightly so. A debate is a two-way street, don’t post public messages, unless you want it to reach a wider audience. But no one deserves abuses and slurs and ganged assaults.

8.       And don’t go guerrilla. Reveal yourself if you want to say something on a public forum. Else take your battle elsewhere.

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