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?