The social media has now become a part of our reality, gone were those days where many people sneer at social media usage and being active online. These days many more people have embraced the social media, and this includes the older generation between ages of 60 and even 80. They are now very active online, most especially Facebook which is now known as META.
Money can be made on the social media also, as a matter of fact, big and honest money that can give you a very good and premium life.
It is of utmost importance to state in this article that there are different kinds of people on the social media, there are people who are there for violence and controversy. It excites them and gets their adrenalin pumping. It makes them happy and gives them joy as they also go about their daily business. It is a form of antidepressant for them.
Then there are those who are online to socialize, share knowledge, run their businesses and just learn from various coaches and mentors for the sake of their personal development. These second set of people hate all kinds of violence and controversy; however, they find that they are surrounded by it often times, and sometimes they fall into traps that are avoidable.
For the sake of the second set of people, I will be sharing 5 social media ethics that would help you navigate the social media successfully without getting into constant trouble.
- IDENTIFY YOUR CONTENT AND THE KINDS OF CONTENT YOU LOVE: Before you begin to spread your tentacles on social media, you must identify your area of content, what you love to write about, and what you love to read. Identify these things and let it inform your decision on the kinds of people you would send a friend request to, the people you would accept their friend request, the people you would follow, and the people you would approach for mentorship and coaching. These applies to writers and business owners. These days many writers are running a form of business, be it an agency, or a form of small- or large-scale business. The social media has provided a platform in which content drives sales, so you must be INTENTIONAL about your content, and the kinds of content you digest. Observing this tip will help you to maintain peace and sanity on your social media space. What you release to the world and what you digest from the world as content has a great tendency to affect your mind, peace, productivity and sanity. Be intentional and wise. Guard your space.
- RESPECT: Many people are of the opinion that social media is a leveler, but I beg to disagree. Social media is NOT a leveler. Do not allow disrespectful and dishonorable people co-opt you into becoming a person with a bad character. Social media is not and will never be a leveler. You must carry yourself with dignity and decorum. You must respect EVERYONE. Do not judge people by their looks, carriage, cliques, worth, tribe, race, career, business and online braggadocio. Do not judge people by their humility and as a result trample upon them. Some of the humblest people that you see and encounter online are powerful and influential people offline. I write this from various experiences, and the only thing that saved me and bought a space for me in their heart offline and on their table, was how I treated them with respect and honor online. Treat people how you love to be treated. It keeps you safe when you respect everyone, both young and old, poor and rich. It also makes people to respect you in return. Respect is reciprocal. Do not be quick to address people by name no matter the tribe they come from. Be spontaneous with words like Sis, Bro, Ma’am, Sir, etc. Unless you are buddies or friends whose relationship has transcended the social media space, please keep the name address formal, not personal. It is not everyone that loves unnecessary camaraderie or banters as a result of social media connection or friendship. If they are people with an appellation or a nick name which they DON’T mind everyone calling them by it, then go ahead but also with an attitude of respect. Respect can never go out of fashion, embrace it tightly in your relationship with others.
- TREAT THE FRIEND REQUEST BUTTON DELICATELY: If you have your follow button activated on Facebook, do not be tempted to send a friend request to everyone who follows you. Note that often times before they followed you, someone might have shared your post or article which resonated with them (understand that you won’t always resonate with them with your content and writing, and you might not be able to deal with the consequence of such if you have them on your friend list), and they spontaneously sought you out to follow you. Other times they have heard a rumor about you which they came to confirm, some other times they have watched you for long before they clicked the follow button, perhaps your friend request button is off, and they cannot send you a friend request. Do not be quick to send them a friend request even if their name is familiar or you know them on the street of social media. Many times, we invite battles into our lives when we do this. There is novelty in many distant relationships. You are not supposed to bring everyone you meet on social media into your friend list or private life. You must be intentional about the kinds of people you have on your friend list. Note that when you have them on your friend list, you are at a risk based on several factors. The novelty might wear off, your content might begin to irritate them, envy can spring up and they start to hound you by subs and counter posts which you’d see. You might choose to unfollow or snooze them if you realized you made a mistake in adding them, however you can save yourself that if you are intentional about the friend request you accept or send out. Keep some people on your follow list until you have studied them, and you have been able to deduce from their activities online that they will not pollute your peace and sanity.
- BE REASONABLE IN YOUR DISAGREEMENT WITH PEOPLE’S POSTS AND COMMENTS: Do not be quick to jump into people’s post to argue or counter what they write unless it is life threatening or harmful to the society. I see people do this a lot based on difference in harmless opinions and it is appalling. When people write on their walls, you must note that it is their space, and you do not have a right to badge in there and begin to argue, become rude, condescending and downright sarcastic. This is an act of bullying, and it does not speak well of you. You are also exposing yourself to a greater venom or disgrace that might emanate from such irrational action of yours. You can disagree with people without being mean or condescending. Respect people’s opinions, respect yourself even more. If you feel you must speak to make them consider another angle regarding a harmless matter or discussion, share your opinion with regard for their feelings, and do not expose them to their readers, followers, friends and fans as being senseless or dumb. Nobody likes to be projected like that and they can decide to hit you below the belt and humiliate you which you would deserve because you failed to respect yourself and respect boundaries. So for your sake and self respect, always keep it civil with others on their posts and even on your own post. It speaks well of you ALWAYS.
- LASTLY BEFORE THIS ARTICLE BECOMES LONGER, UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CANNOT LIKE EVERYONE AND EVERYONE CANNOT LIKE YOU. This does not make you a bad person, and this does not also make others bad people. We are all different people from different and various backgrounds. This is why you must be intentional about your tribe and circle on the social media due to the fact that the social media has also become a part of our day-to-day living. For the sake of your peace and sanity, the onus lies on you to be INTENTIONAL with your relationships. Many people might avoid you as a result of this, label you proud and arrogant, it does not matter. You only have one life to live, you must be intentional about the kinds of people you want in your life and in your faces everyday in other to live a beautiful, happy and wholesome life.
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Written by Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu aka OOA
Publisher and Identity Coach