Guide to Use Social Media Responsibly {No #Haters #Trolls #Bullies}

Inspired by Cecil the Lion, this week I wrote all about it, encouraging others to take to social media  … not only on that day for Cecil’s sake but hopefully in the future again for any other cause that needed it.

It’s every citizen of the world’s responsibility to stand up and be heard when we care about an issue, see an injustice taking place or are bothered by something when no one else around us is.

Well, that was yesterday.

Today I woke up reading the comments on my post, a couple of which talked about the witch hunt that was now going on for Cecil the Lion’s killer and I was shocked.  The fact that we all rallied was GREAT! The spirit of hate and violence that some individuals and activist groups were advocating across social media, however, was not.  Even PETA was advocating for a violent course of action against that dentist, which instantly killed their credibility and puts rational people somewhat on the defensive to protect a person being threatened.  Or if not on the defensive, then at least it acts as an immediate deterrent to align yourself with them, right?  In a civilised society, you can’t preach ‘an eye for an eye’ like in the old days, it’s simply not okay.

Most people haven’t been schooled in the art of social media and don’t know the ‘best practices’ to follow to ensure that we all behave as good boys and girls should.  If it were a meeting or even happy hour or how to behave in an elevator, then sure…everyone knows the Do’s and Don’ts in those situations.  On social media, however, it seems some people still have some learning to do in order to play nice on the world wide web.

NOTE: I’ve handled social media for Guns N’ Roses and a bunch of B2B and B2C brands so I hope you will take my suggestions to heart as this is a field I’ve been playing in full-time since 2008 >>>

The 2 Basic Rules to Follow to Be a Good Social Media Citizen

number-1

Never … Post Anonymously / Advocate Violence / Be a Hater or a Troll

Conversations on social media – and especially commenting – need to be handled as if you are standing in front of the person you are directing a comment to.  You should only say (well, type!) something that you would be 100% willing to say to someone in person, as if you were speaking right to their face.  And honestly, there is nothing worse than people who hide behind anonymity or TROLL to push their point of view forward.  It’s cowardly.  Period.

BEORE I POST I ALWAYS TAKE THIS TEST >> If I would HONESTLY say something to someone’s face, while standing – for example – in front of my daughter or my boss, then I can post it.  If I have any doubts, then I know I’m being a troll and step away.  Or in rare cases I quickly realise it and then make a mad dash to delete it before anyone sees it! I mean come on, no one’s perfect 🙂 

number-2

Always Post From a Sincere Place

My Mommy’s favourite saying when I was growing up was, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” and that rings most true on social media.  Unless you’re vlogging no one can see your face, nor can they hear the tone of your voice.  So it’s important to make sure that your message and the words you write comes from a sincere place within you, even if you disagree or feel outrage.  Your words can live forever online and that makes each character you type truly count.

If you are posting about something that has upset you like Cecil the Lion, cool down first before taking to social media.  My gut reaction response over Cecil was about wishing that man a life a prison.  However, once I cooled down I realised that the real issues were 1) the systemic problem in Zimbabwe on the issuing of those types of permits and 2) the mentality of modern day ‘urban’ hunters who kill solely for the sake of killing something or having a trophy to mount, not to put food on the table.  My ‘I wish he rots in a Zimbabwe prison’ post does nothing to serve the root causes here or help drive change. I needed to rethink it and find a better way to share my outrage and say what I wanted to say.

However you do it, always say it in a manner that is dignified for YOU.

There are many more tips and tricks to navigate social media in way that you’ll be proud of whatever you post 100% of the time but if you start by following those two basic guidelines, you’ll be off to a good start.  Remember that no one is perfect and we all let emotions get away from us at times.  Hopefully you never find a post going viral that you later regret though because there is no taking it back, so do be careful 🙂

Our collective voice helps increase awareness and #trend issues that need the spotlight.  By staying accountable for our conduct on social media and approaching it responsibly we can hopefully be proud of the digital footprint we leave behind in life…

 

{Originally posted 30 July 2015 on LinkedIn Pulse}

XOXO Angela

© 2015, Angela Carson and Angela-Carson.com. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

Follow me

Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 32 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). By day I'm a digital nomad and by night I'm a passionate storyteller. I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!
Follow me

2 Comments on “Guide to Use Social Media Responsibly {No #Haters #Trolls #Bullies}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *