Monday, May 16, 2011

Social Networking Violations

Do you spend lots of time on Facebook and Twitter everyday? Someone sent a question asking what common social networking courtesies people always violate.

We know that social networking is the same as face-to-face meeting. It needs us to be courteous and respectful of people’s time and efforts no matter what happens. In networking, think before you act and think about others before yourself. Soon enough, you will reap its benefits.

Which ones among these are you guilty of?

Adding strangers on Facebook
It does not require a user to be a summa cum laude to know that Facebook is all about networking. Sure, you want to increase your number of friends in order to have the bragging rights of having the most number of contacts among your friends. But who cares – especially if fifty percent of them are total strangers?

Most people I know confirm friend requests when they are either acquaintance from some sort of gathering or real friends, new or old, whom they know intimately.

What happens then if you want to add a stranger? The best thing to do is to couple the adding with a short introduction, as simple as “Hi! This is Juan. We haven’t met, but I’d like to connect with you because you look good.” Okay, that intro message is a bit for flirting, but you get the idea, right?

Begging tweeps to ‘Follow Me’
In desperate want to get more followers on Twitter, some tweeps fill up their timelines begging for other tweeps to follow them. Instead of reading and sharing important or relevant information on this social networking channel, they are just wasting time and effort by doing such.

Don’t envy the celebrities for having hundreds of followers, because they are, to start with, celebrities. There’s no sense of wishing for a huge number of followers when they are all just like you, who follows and get followed because of begging.

Know that you would automatically get an increased number of followers when you tell other people you are relevant through the quality of your tweets. It takes time; nothing happens overnight.

Tagging contacts to unrelated notes, pictures, videos
Are you selling a product or promoting something online? If you are, you might be the culprit of contacts hating and getting angry of online sellers who relentlessly tag people to items that are not at all connected to them.

Be mindful of others. Facebook is a great avenue for promotion, but draw the line on when to properly tag contacts. Not everyone likes to be tagged on photos, videos, or notes that are of no value to them. Sure, give it the benefit of the doubt that they would be interested, but messaging or asking permission to tag could be other better options.

Using non-human pictures
Unless there’s a campaign for a cause (like cartoons for kids or yellow ribbon for Cory), it’s always better to put your identity in your profile picture. If not, at least have some other photos that would identify you.

Especially those who keep their profile information private, it is a big no-no to not have a clear photo. Putting your name may not be sufficient, as your contact might not remember clearly who you are. Remember to consider other people first before yourself. You know, they might be forgetful even at a young age.

Creating several accounts for contests
The digital age today has tapped more and more companies to hold online contests via blogs, Twitter or Facebook. A popular type of promotion would be the ‘Like’ contest, where the entry with most likes wins. I am personally not a fan of such. Why? Because there are tons of cheaters.

May it be on Twitter or Facebook, foolish online users tend to open several new accounts just to be able to join contests and win prizes. How silly it is to like their own entry or tweet many times using several fake accounts!

Just trust it to luck. Be honest and leave everything up to luck or your God every time you join contests or promos. If you win, then you win; if it’s for you, you will get it. Stop the cheating and fight equally.

Swearing or cursing publicly
As humans, we have tendencies of becoming angry or depressed in a snap. When this happens, we use the social networking channels as portals of our emotions. Sadly, some users aren’t wary of others and curse or swear publicly online.

Start changing the bad habit. Not everyone is comfortable in reading tweets or statuses with profane words. At the same time, it reflects a negative impression on you. Unless you really want to show off, keep the cursing to yourself or in private.

And these, girls and boys are just six of the most common online faults netizens do. Do you have anything more to add? Email me at [email protected].

This article is my fifteenth contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on May 16, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


I am confident to day I am not guilty of any of the above...but maybe guilty of conversing too much with tweet-friends on public posts instead of direct messages, hehe...

This is a good post Glenn!

Yes you are right, I am so sick of those people begging for "LIKES" and "RETWEETS", also to those who tag you on pictures just to obtain publicity.

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