The internet has come a long way since its beginnings. Netizens accessing the world online have experienced many changes in the way they use the World Wide Web, especially with the emergence of social media. However, one thing remains constant despite these changes - the rules of life still apply and people are still expected to behave appropriately in cyber-space.
Here are the five life rules that should mirror the way you behave on social media:
1. Do unto others. Even on the internet, respect is earned if you give respect in the first place. Words like "thank you" and please" are still appreciated. On social media, saying thanks could also be expressed in other ways, such as a hitting the "like" button, following another profile's account, or re-tweeting and sharing the other person's message, according to Steamfeed. Of course, nothing beats the traditional way -- that is, when you write the words outright -- but Steamfeed adds, "When you do go with the standard "Thank you" as a reply, take a look at the user's profile and look to add something. It could be something about their location, occupation or hobby. This gives the message a personal feel, and again the user will appreciate the effort. This is being social."
2. Judge not, lest you be judged. This old adage still holds true, especially in the internet age. Some people are too quick about making judgements online. A study suggested that a profile photo is all the other person needs to see to form an impression.
Some say judging someone on social media is inevitable, especially if they regularly post facets of their lives to share with others. If you don't know the whole story or aren't privy to the pertinent details, hold off on any judgements or comments.
3. Speaking of comments - think before you post. As the saying goes,"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Sometimes, not everything needs to be said, too. You don't have to respond to every comment you read.
Thinking before posting also applies to the stuff you'd like to share in your own profile. Have a thoughtful approach to your digital footprint, according to Common Sense Media. This is explained more thoroughly in their video below:
4. Don't abuse the network. Social networks are free to use, but this doesn't mean you have to abuse this freedom. It's not necessary to chart every hour of your life on your Facebook status. Others may not like it if you tag them in photos that have nothing to do with them. Some people may be annoyed if you fill up your Instagram or Twitter posts with hashtags. "If your Tweet, post or comment isn't adding any substance to the wider conversation, you might want to consider leaving the hashtag off," according to Hootsuite.
5. Last, don't air your dirty laundry in public. If there is an important need to address someone, instead of using the social network, pick up the phone and have an actual conversation. If a phone call is not possible, address each other in a private message. Keep private affairs private.