Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Networking No-No's


We have all experienced that one annoying friend on a social network. Be it the pointless information or the constant negativity, when you see it, your eyes roll and you shake your head. They obviously have no knowledge of social networking etiquette. Well here is their first lesson. These are the 10 social networking no-no’s the Ms. Vixen team thinks must be addressed. We couldn’t cover them all, so if you have more just leave a comment and express your ideas. 

1.       Posting personal family or friend issues online isn’t very mature. It’s much better to solve your problem with the person you have an issue with.  Don’t post it on the web or reply to posts directly or indirectly talking about you. These social networks are open public forums, and you are giving people information they don’t need to know. Most of us have used these websites to link up with old classmates, teachers, professors, family members and co-workers. If you wouldn’t sit down and give all this information to these people in person, why do it online? It’s always better to pick up the phone and solve the issue appropriately. We are all adults aren’t we? 

2.      Those check in options, just opt not to use them. Why post your every move? ‘Yes, here is a list of my daily whereabouts so you may stalk me.’ Honestly, no one cares or wants a web announcement telling them you are buying toothpaste from the pharmacy. If you check in at a hot party, or state you are going on vacation, people know you’re not home. It’s become pretty common for people to get their homes burglarized as a result of posting their whereabouts. 

3.        Pointless continuous facebook status updates. Please don’t let us know things like, you are washing your hands or scratching your head.  Those examples are a bit extreme, but we all know we have a least one social networking friend that does this. We cringe every time they do, so it’s earned its spot on the list. 

4.     Overly negative people are a drag, and people who post “F@#% all my haters!” everyday are immature and tasteless. People who always post complaints are equally annoying. It’s understood that we may use these as a way to vent, but doing so everyday seems like a desperate cry for help or attention. If it is a cry for help then use your time to seek that help, don’t post it online. 

5.    Relationship status is another subject to address. Its either you’re single, in a relationship, married, divorced or in a domestic partnership. The “its complicated” option is foolish. As an adult woman you should know the boundaries and parameters in place for your relationship status. If you and your partner haven’t come to an agreement as far as commitment or monogamy, then you my dear are single.  There’s nothing complicated about that. Also, the “it’s complicated” option looks pitiful. Which I know none of us Vixens are. Yes, not all relationships are stable and easy, but those issues are between you and your partner. Don’t give the outside world entry to pick at your relationship quarrels. 

6.     The key word that people forget in the term social networking is NETWORKING! Please stop focusing solely on the social aspect. Unless it’s a dating site, trying to hook up shouldn’t be on your mind. It’s a place to reconnect with your past and kind of build a bridge to your present.  Many people use these sites to promote their businesses or showcase their talents.  They can also be used as a way to find places to meet new people off the internet. Don’t go on facebook or twitter trying to find dates, its very tacky  

7.        Tagging people in pictures or posts that don’t have anything to do with them or could be embarrassing to them can be annoying and a nuisance. One reason is the tag links the picture to their profile. Most people feel their profile is a further reflection of who they are, and don’t want to reflect the picture of the big girl wearing shorts too small. The image or status message linked to their page is unwanted.  

8.       Don’t post a message saying you’re going the beach if you’ve called out of work sick. You may not be facebook friends with your supervisor or manager, but people talk. Co-workers may talk amongst themselves and the wrong person may over hear. Or a co-worker may try to sabotage your work image, or the way a supervisor perceives you. Especially if you’re a favored employee, careless posts like this are an open opportunity for people to get you in trouble at work. 

9.        Negative comments about the company you work for, your co-workers or supervisors shouldn't be posted. Many companies have internet guidelines that extend to what employees express even at home on their personal time. Other companies have updated these policies to include disciplinary action that could lead to termination. It’s senseless to lose your job over complaining or saying harmless things about your employer online. Just do it the old fashion way and complain to one of your girlfriends.  

10.      Fake or fabricated lifestyles presented on social networking sites are frowned upon.  For the most part people can tell it’s not real. To flaunt, and show life is good and to want to put your best foot forward is great. But to say you’re in Miami sipping on wine, meanwhile I run into you the next day on the subway, and when asked “how was your trip?”, you have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s very embarrassing and quite awkward for both people involved. If you’re not happy with your life do something to change it. Don’t create a whole new persona online to fill that void.

Although these sites aren't what you base your day-to-day life on, do know that you control the things you like in your life and the things you don't. So, don't feel bad about simply deleting social networking etiquette violators, or adjusting your settings so that these things don't continue to pop up in your online world. If the offender isn’t mature enough to understand that your changes are related to their social networking personality, and not your real life friendship then they're probably not on the same level as you as far as maturity is concerned. Just move on from the situation, they will understand one day.

 By Naima Muhammad

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