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Social Networking Etiquette

Mukta Gaikwad
Today, your conduct on social networking sites is probably more important than the real life one. In order to maintain your respect, following some simple yet necessary etiquette is extremely crucial.
Interestingly, your conduct on every social networking site speaks volumes about you. Thus, it is imperative that you think twice before you speak! Today, your virtual identity matters more than your real one. As the world races to keep up with the pace of globalization, its inhabitants seek virtual platforms to keep up with their real relationships.
In order to maintain the warmth, trust, love and friendliness in the relationships that we share, it is crucial that users maintain certain social networking etiquette.
These sites have more power than we can imagine. But, to maintain a healthy relationship with your friends on social networking sites and to benefit from it, one needs to follow a strict pattern of 'netiquette'. Here are a few tips.

Stranger Danger

The first and the most important part of social networking rules is that 'do not talk to strangers'. Many use social networking platforms to launch hideous ideas, criminal missions and propagate wrongs. For the same reasons, they wear fake identities, which are difficult to unmask. Thus, until you are sure about a person's background, do not add him/her.
If you get a friend request from an unknown person, go through his/her profile, check the mutual friends, see the photographs and when none of this works, send a message. If you fail to get any trustworthy information, refuse the friend request. Talking to strangers can get you into serious trouble.

Reality Check

Your virtual profiles are like your identity cards. Several companies, fellow colleagues, and so forth, do background checks by viewing your profile. Using these profiles as information data about the users, is going to be the future of social networking sites.
A lot can be gauged from the company you keep on your profile, your pictures, your status updates, the games you play, the tweets you follow and make, and the conversations you have on these sites.
Thus, it is extremely important that you maintain a certain decorum on social networking sites, just as you do when you go to office or head out to hang out with friends. Existence on social networking sites is as important as being a part of any other real organization.

Show Respect

As social networking sites bring together people from varying diaspora, it also makes this platform vulnerable to heated debates over sensitive issues. To avert offending anyone, be choosy about the words you use and the comments you make.
Disrespecting someone can lead to harsh judgments about you or make you indulge in the crime of slander to defend yourself. Avert these potential issues by keeping a distance from sensitive issues, because a few words will weigh mightier than the sword. Respect to be respected.

Listen Too

Though conversations begin with status updates or tweets, one needs to understand the art of listening to the other side as well. For instance if you join a group, it is important that you hear what others have to say, than get aggressive with your comments.
Provide the others a chance to make their statements, give your background to them and then put forth your defense in the most appropriate words.
Social networking etiquette is no different from decorum of social conduct in real life. Often the excitement of joining a new group tempts many to stalk people involved in it. Tone down your excitement and allow the people to befriend you instead.
Understand that social networking sites are not about adding friends to your list, but connecting with old friends, colleagues, and consequently making friends. They are about connecting for reasons that are close to the heart. It is most definitely a space that needs to be respected, in order to be respected and loved in return.