Social media is much wide and vast than what we generally think. It stretches far and wide, beyond your imagination. You might use your social media account for a specific purpose like marketing, advertising, making friends online, or any other activity but, there are a lot of other utilities and applications of social media.
More often than not, we use social media without paying much attention to our actions, but this is wrong. You might think that it is your account and you can do whatever you wish to but there you go wrong. The main objective of social media is socializing. Therefore, you should not do whatever you wish to. You have to comprehend that social media is not your personal space like your home or bedroom, it is a shared world filled with people. This is quite the same as the world outside your home. The only difference is that the former is virtual and the latter is real.
Starting from the moment you step out of your house, you are bound to follow certain rules and that can be broadly classified under one category known as the law. Social media is very much like stepping out of your house as that space is not personal. You are bound to follow certain ethics and etiquette. If you are not following any such manners, you are doing something seriously wrong.
What are ethics?
Ethics can be defined as the comprehension of what is right and what is wrong, what is good, bad, etc. How social media is connected with ethics is pretty simple as you just need to understand what you should do and what you should not, how you should make the best use of the features of the platform without hurting or offending others' emotions and beliefs. For example, you are using social media for promotional purposes and you might think that you can promote your business, art, service, etc. in any way you wish to but No! You must make sure that you are not using any unjust way to lead your activity to fruition.
What are etiquette?
Etiquette can be defined as the codes of behavior that we should follow while living in a society. Just like you cannot go and beat someone up, you cannot do what you feel like on social media. The connection of social media with etiquette is interesting. All of us, at least for once, have come across the feature known as spamming. It is nothing but a license to those who feel that you are doing something or behaving wrongly. For example, you are chatting online for free and you might think that you can speak whatever you wish but No! Connect with the person on the other end and communicate and make sure you are not making that person feel uncomfortable.
Let us now look at the basic principles of social media ethics and etiquette
Though there are a lot of things that you should follow in order to maintain a perfect social media account, the basic rules can be classified under three categories:-
Be Authentic - Being authentic is the key. More people will connect with you if you portray your real personality rather than pretending to be someone else. If you want to meet and make friends online, you must always keep in mind that others will appreciate your authenticity and be attracted to you for your honesty.
Be Transparent - This point is somewhat linked to authenticity. Being transparent is all about making it clear that what you are trying to do and how you want to utilize your social media account. May the only thing you want to do is meet new people or avail free mobile recharge or whatever. The idea is to be transparent.
Keep Communicating - This might not seem to be something related to ethics and etiquette but it is indeed a crucial part of what you should do on a social media. If you do not communicate and chat with friends, people might have a bad perception about you and they might reject in future instances. Therefore, try to maintain rapport with people online on social media.
Conclusion - Nowadays, most of us regularly use social media for a lot of purposes and we hardly pay attention to guidelines governing ethics and etiquette. This is a bad practice as in order to sustain and make the best use of your social media account, you need to follow the ethics and etiquette explained above.