The first rule of social media is: ‘Don’t talk about the rules of social media.’
I’ve been meaning to post something, somewhere, about the ‘rules’ (more like a common-sense philosophy) that I have developed for myself in the world of social media. When I first started dabbling in SM, on the reviled and adored (by some) facebook platform, it was clear that the interaction framework is self-evident – people post status updates or links and it is entirely up to each user what they ‘like’, ‘share’, or comment on.
Before starting to use Twitter (which initially baffled me. It just didn’t seem to serve any purpose – now you can hardly get me off the thing.), I decided to do some research on the protocols – and it was quite difficult to find any guidance around what the do’s and don’ts are.
Anyway, here’s my rules for how to behave on facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and everywhere else in the virtual communication sphere:
- RECIPROCATE. If someone follows your Twitter account or WordPress blog, do the same in return. [Exception: On Twitter, there are lots of obviously 'scam' accounts, and others offering "thousands of followers for only $29" or whatever. I never reciprocate with those.]
- RECIPROCATE. If someone likes a post, retweets your witty tweet, or comments on your latest post, do something in return. A comment gone unanswered, a message not replied to, or any indication that the relationship is purely one-way, is no fun, and gets old, real quick.
- RECIPROCATE. Just. Be. A. Person. Just because you’re on social media, doesn’t mean normal rules of civility don’t apply. Sure, there’s some relaxed language, and casual interaction that can be taken or left, but we’re all still humans (except the ‘bots) – some of us with a fragile ego (not me!). AND, only bona fide celebrities should have 10 to 1 or 1000 to 1 follower:following ratios. Wanna be a celebrity? Go make a movie, or cut an album, or just fucking get over yourself.
I may come back here over time and flesh this out a bit more – but for now, this is where I’m at.
Oh, and if you ever catch me not abiding by my own rules, call me out on it!
P.S. – This is my 100th published post on this blog!