#TuesdayTips: Social Media Etiquette

My friend, Jade Perry, posted a series of status updates on Facebook yesterday that she deemed Jade’s Social Media Etiquette Tips. As an avid user of social media AND a well-educated professional (check her credentials here), I believe Jade definitely can speak with some wisdom on the topic. These were REALLY good and I wanted to share because these are some great, practical reminders for all of us.

(Photo cred: travelmanagement.yale.edu)

  1. Just because you CAN comment, doesn’t mean you SHOULD comment.
  2. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are all public spaces. For those posting, remember, you’re posting to a public space. For those commenting on other people’s pages, you are still posting to a public space. Use as much discretion when posting to other people’s page, as you would when chatting out in a grocery store, park, coffee shop, or any other public space.
  3. Employers withhold offers based on what you post AND what others post on your page. (Yupp, it’s true). So, families / parents / guardians / friends / caretakers, social media probably isn’t the best forum to ask about chores that need to be done, medications that need to be filled, jobs that have been griped about, or anything else said in confidence.
  4. People have the right to decide how you will interact with them both in real time & on social media. Do not assume that everything you comment, like, or share will be well – received, simply because it’s “online”. This is why we have delete, block, report, etc.
  5. If you have a feeling that you shouldn’t post something, don’t post it.
  6. There are some things that your friends will post that fall under the category of satire. BEFORE you comment, check the source.
  7. Since social media is relatively young, formal etiquette rules are still being codified. The jury is still out on some things… (like certain pictures of your pregnancy or pics of you kissing your boo). In those cases, remember one thing…. social media is a public space. Interpret that how thou wilt.
  8. Being passive aggressive via statuses doesn’t make you or anyone else look good. Remember, people also come to your page to network or to learn more about you. Before you post, ask yourself a) is this a good representation of me? b) is this my true self and if so, should this part of my true self be publicized? c) is there any way I can use my conflict resolution skills to rectify the situation d) is social media the best medium to ease this conflict?
  9. Parents, your children are now living in an era where their entire childhood years can be documented on social media. We can visually watch children grow up “before our eyes”. Coaching them on using social media responsibly starts with a) what you say, b) what you do on social media.
  10. Teenagers… it wouldn’t hurt to journal sometimes. Sometimes, you need a medium & context to work your emotions out in a safe, secure space. This may sound like something your mom would say, but if you can, take it from me in an older sisterly sense… there are some things that you post that you’re NOT going to want resurface to see 5, 10, 15 years later. (Trust me on this one).
  11. College students, it’s not enough to just take off any suspect pictures. Do that…and then think of ways that you can use social media to populate the Internet with helpful information about you I.e. Linkedin, eportfolios. (Are you a PR major? Put your portfolio / samples online on a blog and on your business cards. You specialize in marketing? I should be able to access your work online and see your growth in that area).
  12. Yes, you do need to cite your source.

Cross-Tab. (2010). Online reputation in a connected world. Retrieved from: http://www.job-hunt.org/guides/DPD_Online-Reputation-Research_overview.pdf

Wharton University of Pennsylvania. (October 9, 2009). Are you practicing proper social networking etiquette? Forbes.com, Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/09/social-networking-etiquette-entrepreneurs-management-wharton.html


Jade Perry is a student affairs / higher education professional who has worked in the functional areas of multicultural programs, career services, and academic advising at various institutions. She enjoys helping students learn, grow, and develop, blogging on topics that she finds intriguing, and overall, just being fierce! You can connect with her on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=76280717&trk=spm_pic or email her directly at jtperry@presby.edu for inquiries or speaking engagements.

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