Social Media Etiquette

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It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently

-Warren Buffet

Hello. I genially thank you all for being part of this blog for the past twelve months and I wish you a joyful new year!

I deem it timely to base the theme for the New Year’s debut article on acceptable social media interaction due to its fast-paced establishment and overwhelming patronage. If the trend last year is anything to go by, an increased adoption of social media for conversing, showing off, beefing or gossiping is inevitable this year.

The standardization of the words ‘twerk’, ‘selfie’ by the Oxford English Dictionary makes me wonder what words our vocabulary will have to accommodate this year to be classified as ‘cool’……GNSTDLTBBB? I hope not. (That means Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!).

The medium of communication may have changed from inked letters to expressive  emoticons but the principles of decent conversation stays the same.

Hence, the need to stay in touch with civility as we dive deeper into the world of technology.


Swear Words: If you can’t speak it, don’t write it on your status or put it up on your dp. There is a small voice in everyone that ‘reads out’ your status so don’t write or type what you cannot say with your mouth. Your vocabulary is more than verbal communication.


Shorthand: I do not know what to attribute the origin of short hands to- conservative text messages (the type of text you abbreviate so that it doesn’t spill to two pages) or an adaptation to fast dictation from a fast-speaking lecturer. Anyway, the shorthand is not bad in itself when used exceptionally but a situation is created when good English is thrown out the window and replaced with shorthand or abbreviations, even in speaking. English words are being abbreviated (including words that have no need for this) at such a fast pace, I’m struggling to keep up!


I admit that I have had to Google certain abbreviations in other to fully understand a piece of message. I have this wonderful contact-friend on my blackberry messenger whose messages are something like this, “Ds Dmtnd tk sl sth mit gnd, lol”.

I initially think he’s writing German but when I look closely, I realize he is writing in shorthand.

A good reason to avoid shorthand is that it spoils your English.

Sometimes, you sincerely forget the spelling of words as simple as ‘this’ because you are too used to abbreviations.

If you must use short hand, use it sparingly and in a decipherable context.


Suggestive Dps, Pms and Statuses: No please. No pornographic DPs or suggestive PMs. Some fantasies are too private to be advertised on your status; you reserve the right to keep it personal especially because your audience may be upset by such.


Late Pings: Just as it is unethical to place late night calls for reasons besides emergencies, late night chatty messages especially to a contact who did not recently change his/ her status or with whom you aren’t overly friendly can be less than pleasing. The exception is when the conversation is consensual though. It’s just kind of unusual to ping someone by 2am in the morning ‘just to say hello’.

Graphic Videos/ Links: If you advertise a graphic link (for whatever reason), please be considerate enough to warn potential viewers. I like how responsible TV producers put it, ‘This programme may be harmful to those with photosensitive epilepsy(whatever that is)viewer discretion is advised”. Take a cue.


Tagging: When posting pictures which you are uncertain about on Face book, it is appropriate to ask the consent of others before tagging them.

Not everyone likes to go to FB only to find strange pictures on their wall. If you are certain that this picture is inoffensive and your friends won’t mind you tagging them, then that’s fine.

You will have to agree with me that polite interaction via social media need to be redefined.

I am very confident that good social manners can be spread just as the bad ones have. I second Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Manners are very communicable: men catch them from each other”.

Catch the good ones, let the bad ones pass away and have a healthy social life in the new year. Cheers!


1 thought on “Social Media Etiquette

  1. Noice! As usual ( that was an intentional mis-spelling to emphasis the word) I hope most people learn from this though, because just like you, I too am struggling to keep up with the evolution of these destructive ‘shorthands’ And please people, stop the suggestive dp’s and pm’s. Thank you! Cheers!

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