How To Not Be a Jerk on Facebook


FACEBOOK Social media is a significant part of culture as we know it.  I believe that social media is an incredible tool for communicating, starting movements, marketing, building relationships, and staying informed.  As with any technological advancement there also come some dangers.  The nature of social media allows people to say anything to anyone pretty much whenever and however they want.  Because of that I've made a list of 5 rules that can help save you from doing something you regret while you're online.

1. Don't be antagonistic.  Some people just enjoy stirring up controversy; don't be that person.  People love to get fired up especially on the internet; don't play into that by posting something that you know is going to bring people out of the woodworks wanting to debate.

2. Don't say something you wouldn't say in real life.  There is a false sense of security that comes with social media.  Being able to sit in front of a computer screen and typing comments in your underwear doesn't feel the same as sitting down for coffee with an actual human being.  The best conversations, even when you disagree, happen in person not on the internet.

3. Realize that what you say can be seen by everyone. You friends, your parents, your grandparents, your employers.  All these people can see what you're posting, so just be careful what you say.

4. If you're not sure how people will interpret it, just don't say it.  We all have those ideas that really resonate with us and we think it would be brilliantly, clever to put online but at the same time there's a part of us that thinks it might not be appropriate.  I generally try to go by the rule; if you have to ask if it's okay, it's probably not okay.

5. Online debates don't generally change people's opinions.  I am not at all saying there isn't a place for posting your opinion about a particular debate online, just be careful when you feel the need to correct people's wrong opinions all the time.  Back in the day, I thought it would be wise to go onto a Jewish forum in order to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah.  I may be right, he was after all the Messiah, but going onto their forum in order to debate them was just stupid.

What rules would you add to the list?

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