Monday, August 26, 2013

Are You a Social Media Boor?

OK, so this is a "Boar" not a "Boor" but isn't he cute?? :)
If you had asked most of us just a few years ago what “social media” was, we likely would have given a blank stare. Since it is such a new addition to our social lives, our mothers never had a chance to teach us manners in this arena. So as adults, we have to learn the hard way. We get “unfriended” on Facebook or “unfollowed” on Twitter if we act with boorish behavior.

This topic came to mind recently when I dove into the Twitter world. Just like with starting up on Facebook, I delved, kicking and screaming, into this new form of communication. But like with Facebook, I soon learned a few things that have been lessons on the frontlines of media marketing. And as authors, most of us are definitely facing the battle of book promotion and we find ourselves socializing online more and more. Thus the need to learn some manners.

What prompted my thinking about social media manners started out as an amusing “Follow” on my tweets—a well-known female pop star was suddenly following mine. I thought it was hilarious and “Followed” her back. Next thing I know, Miss Pop Star (likely one of her handlers) was flooding my tweet stream with drivel. It wasn’t so much offensive as it was annoying. I really wanted to see tweets from my other “friends” but they were lost in the crowd. Just as quickly as I had “Followed” her, I clicked on the “Unfollow” button. She can follow me as long as she wants, but I don’t want to be inundated by tweets from one person.

But it’s not just pop stars. I had one well-meaning Christian pastor who did the same thing. It was not drivel in his tweets, but the sheer onslaught of his messages overshadowed my purpose for even participating in Tweet World. Just as quickly as I “Unfollowed” Miss Pop Star, I clicked the same for that pastor. A few tweets from the same person works for me; a dozen or more at a time does not.

If you are on Facebook, you’ve likely seen the same annoyance. Post after post after post from the SAME Facebook friend, completely consuming your timeline feed. When I see that, I unfriend them rather quickly. I don’t have the time.

Here are a few other Social Media Boors:

-       The “I’m the Only Author In the World” Boor: This author rarely if ever promotes another author’s book. He or she is consumed with self-promotion. No matter what the post, it includes something about his or her books.
-       The “This is so gross I just had to share it” Boor: Photos depicting blood, gore, stitches, etc. up close and personal should be kept to share with your friends at home. If they have a strong stomach.
-       The “It’s OK if I use foul language” Boor: Click. They’re gone.

It’s really pretty basic: If we go back to the manners taught by Mom, I suppose we can apply a few of the lessons she taught us long ago: Don’t do all the talking. Let others have their turn. Listen and be polite.

So what are some boorish manners that drive you to distraction on social media?

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  1. Nothing can be worse than getting bombarded by a narcissist. Good post, Elaine.

  2. It depends upon how a user is spending his/her time on social media networks. So it purely depends upon how the user interacts with these websites. Social Media Agencies are intend to provide good content over their profiles and it is not a mandatory thing that it should be viewed.

  3. All this stuff is so nuts--I belong to lots of groups, too, and see the same names. I usually try to respond privately to requests and other stuff, but then I think, my name isn't out there--shouldn't I make sure my name or my titles are in other people's faces so they remember me? Blech...I guess as with everything, gentle does it.

  4. I can't stand Twitter. It seems like everyone's talking and no one is listening.

  5. Ditto Kevin.

    There is marketing advise which says you should tweet, or as I say twit, at least ten times a day. What insanity is that? I have enough trouble coming up with worthwhile topics to blog about once a week. What do I have to say almost every hour that:
    1. is interesting
    2. are my own thoughts not paid for spam twits
    3. that will actually be read

    I have better things to do with my time than write or read twits.

  6. I feel your pain, Kevin and Sophie. Occasionally tweets bring someone new to my site which I see as a "plus." Occasionally I retweet someone's else's blog. But I limit my tweets to no more than 3 at a time. (usually 1 or 2) And post tweets only 2 or 3 times a day, spread out. I'm still learning my manners...but hoping others learn their's!

  7. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
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