Social Networking Etiquette

Have you ever logged on to Facebook, MySpace or Twitter only to read that a former classmate has just revealed their most intimate secrets to the world? Your mouth drops slightly because you would’ve never expected such a thing to come from such a refined person.

In the world of social networking, we’ve all read things that should’ve been stored in a diary that’s held under lock and key. And too often, we are trapped in believing our thoughts are still suppressed from the world.

But what should go in the “status update” spaces? There are many different kinds of people and personalities so naturally there’s a mixed opinion on what should go in the space. Liberal people tend to not care as much about the often over dramatic status updates; while the reservists tend to critique the updater…in many instances steering them away from posting such content.

Let’s define social networking. No…no I’m not going to get too philosophical. Basically social networking is a place in cyberspace for us to intertwine being social and networking. Sure some people use it primarily for networking, but majority of us use it for social purposes. It’s a way to escape in to a world away from our current realities.

People who only use social networking sites to network don’t post many personal updates because they’d rather include an uplifting quote, or promote their business. Although it seems perfectly acceptable for them to do this, there is one flaw to their method…they come across as robotic. I like to call them cyberbots. The friends linked to them usually don’t feel the social aspect of their updates; therefore these kinds of people are often the first to get dropped when a social butterfly decides to clean up their friend lists.

Being too liberal on social networking sites is a crime most of us have committed at some point or another. It can happen in many forms. The most common is when people give overly emotional updates.

Come on, you’ve seen them…”Any guy that cheats on me is stupid!”, or “I got two baby mommas and I’m proud of it!”. The other kind of annoying update is the one that gives a status on simple things like “brushing teeth”, “eating breakfast”, and “nice day outside”.
It’s better to think twice when posting an update. We have to keep in mind that although it’s easy to write what we feel, we don’t want to come across as too dramatic or too reserved.

If you don’t blend the social with the network aspect, you can come across too social or too networky. This is a mistake you should avoid. It’s better to be yourself, and limit yourself to two updates per day. For example, you can post one network update and one social update – but be mindful that you might want to space your dramatic social updates a few weeks apart.

The key to balance it out is to ask yourself the following question, what is my purpose for
posting the update? If the answer is because you are on an emotional high then it’s probably better that you release your energy in another form. And if your reason is to inspire or network, then just make sure that you haven’t done so that day.

If your friend is too social or too network driven on social networking sites, then you can always post a link to this blog in hopes that they will get the message!

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