Mind your Social Media Manners…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

Social Media Manners

What in the world did we do with our time before social media? I for one was definitely more productive writing wise and my house was much cleaner than it is now. I have a feeling that social media caused the cancelling of most daytime soap operas. Why watch scripted on T.V. when we can scroll through non-stop reality.

Whatever negative side effects social media might have it does have equal and opposite positive effects as well. For me I have never felt so much a part of so many completely different communities as I do now. Writers/Bloggers truly are the most supportive, genuine and friendly people I have ever known.

Because it is the start of a new season I thought this would be a good time to share some social media etiquette and tips that I have learned over the years, some of them the hard way.

Young and the Restless

It is social media not sell media. There are many companies out there that will take your money and instruct you to auto post the same posts across all of your social media platforms. Posts like ‘BUY my book’ ‘Must Read’ 500- 5 star reviews.’ Then there are those direct messages you receive thirty seconds after you follow someone. The requests to, buy my book, like my page, follow my blog and don’t forget to favorite and share this message. These companies will fill your head with numbers that sound important but they are useless. Social media is about being social and making real connections. Automatic cross posting and constant selling will leave people thinking you are lazy and unapproachable and they will keep scrolling.

money lock box

Once you post it, it cannot be erased. In 2015 this is still important. If you are not sure about posting or responding to something take the time to think about it before you post or respond.

Ignore Posts that offend you. It would be great if we never had to lay eyes on or hear anything that offends us but when it comes to social media we are going to see plenty. It always feels good to be part of a ‘do good’ mob but choose your mobs wisely. Don’t take someone’s dislike of children or pets so personally and just scroll on. Trust me your mood will be better if you just ignore and scroll on. If they persist and you have trouble ignoring the offensive posts you can hide them, disable notifications from that person or un-friend them.

You owe no one an explanation to unfriend/unfollow. There is never a need to post things like ‘I am cleaning up my friend list.’ Just unfollow quietly and move on.

In 2015 it is still a bad idea to vague post, chronically complain, over share and post in clumps, frequently. ‘I am so upset’ ‘Some people need to just shut up and you know who you are.’(My personal least favorite) If you share someone’s post or article always write something personal about it such as why you liked it or didn’t like it. I can’t believe people still get upset when someone shares what they have posted. That is the gold people. It is all about the sharing.

Social Media

Do not post spoilers. Be considerate of our friends in different time zones. If you cannot wait to talk about that winner or scene, take it private.

Limit rants. Sometimes a good rant can be healthy and prompt positive conversation. It is a good idea to only post them occasionally.

Never use more than two hashtags in one post.

The buzz about you, your book or your blog should NEVER come from you. This is simple; you only gain credibility when other people post, talk about or share your work. That doesn’t mean you cannot share exciting information or big news. There is a difference between good news and overselling.

If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person don’t say it on social media. It is a good idea to stop and think before reacting on social media. There is a way to say and mean what you want to say without being mean. We are writers, right?

It is okay to discuss politics and religion. Discuss is the key word here. We should always respect each other’s views or beliefs even if they are different from our own, especially if we have no idea what is behind those views. Discussion and debate are healthy. Headlines, talking points and surveys are annoying. Most people have their minds made up when it comes to religion and politics. Your post will not ever change their mind so stick to reality, discussion and healthy debate.

Do you have any to add to this list?

Happy writing,


Quotes Writing






42 Responses to “Mind your Social Media Manners…”

  • Excellent post and one we can all benefit from. I’m still getting used to Twitter and I know I make my share of mistakes. Instagram is foreign to me, but I’m on there stalking my kids. I feel like a very cliched, fish out of water. Snap chat is even worse for me. I can’t think of any other etiquette rules that you haven’t covered. In fact, I learned a few things from this post. I know I’m guilty of engaging in “political debate,” type tweets. I can’t help it, but as a lawyer, I’ve always been opinionated about politics and refraining from a political discussion wouldn’t be the real me.

    I haven’t been on FB for a while. When my kids moved platforms I followed. I recently got back on FB to catch up with old friends and I can’t believe how many of the rants you mentoned where front and center. My personal least favorite is the female addressing her comments to another female. One appears to be the main squeeze and the other appears to be the ex and they are trading insults. I hate stuff like, “‘You ain’t no real man . A real man knows how to support his kids financially. My baby daddy is a piece of —-!” I’m not kidding, I read exchanges that seem far too personal to be on social media. I also dislike the rants that seem to be mid stream or the beginning of the conversation is missing. “I’ve had it with you talking shit about me and the next time you blah blah blah …” I’m thinking , what’s going on here and who could this person possibly be talking to. People actually comment asking if they are the intended recipient and then the original author writes, ” No. Not you. They know who they are.” Okay , I see what you mean about daytime soaps.
    I have two questions. First of all, I had no idea that some people get upset when others share their content. I thought that was the main idea: Retweet, repost etc. I’m honored when someone shares my content. Second, I must have allowed a third party app to post tweets on my behalf , when I opened my account because sometimes I see a legal tweet that appears to be from me, but it isn’t. Any idea how I can put a stop to that?
    Thanks for the social media crash course.

    • If it is a Facebook professional page it posts to Twitter automatically. That doesn’t bother me as much as my other platforms because I don’t often post on that page. It is so annoying when you are having an hour long conversation on Twitter and every word posts to Facebook.

  • These are all so true, and I believe the last of whatever manners are left will go right out the window with the new Facebook “Dislike” button. Meanwhile, thanks for the reminder to get off social media until the winner of America’s Got Talent is announced on the west coast!

  • Wow, I love all of these. You nailed them right on the head. Social media is out of control. There doesn’t seem to be any rules and there should be – after all, social media is an extension of the real world and all the same rules should apply. Sharing all this wonderful information and thank you!

  • Since most of us are on social media to connect with other bloggers, not promoting yourself gets kind of tricky.

  • I especially appreciate the advice to ignore posts that offend you. No one forces you to engage in something you don’t like. And engaging won’t change anyone’s mind. Too much brain damage fighting a fight that can’t be won. User your energy on things you CAN change. And that don’t offend you.

    Great list, Doreen! A lot of folks online should print and post and read daily!

  • Mary:

    I am so with you! Great post!

  • SO here’s the thing. I totally disagree with you on hashtags for Instagram. Agree for twitter. I 100% support your notion that what you put out there (in any written form) lasts forever. As wise man says, “If you can’t say it from the alter in church you better decide if that’s what you really want to say.”

  • These are great tips for EVERYONE and could easily pass as Social Etiquette 101. (I have FB friends who need to read this. Definitely sharing this there 🙂

  • Great post. Number one rule when getting on social media: present your best self, treat the wide expanse out there as you would a friend. All the negatives WILL come back to haunt you.

  • The vague comments on Facebook are driving me nuts. A friend of mine constantly posts things like “Why do I even try?” Or “I think being dead would be better than the kind of day I had” or “clearly our friendship isn’t as important to you” having absolutely no idea what and who she’s talking about. And the thing that really gets me is that droves of people then proceed to “Like” her posts while writers I know, including myself, are pouring hearts and souls and hours into thoughtful, inspiring essays about lifechanging moments, and their post linking to it gets like 5 likes.

    okay, there’s my rant. I don’t rant often, actually hardly ever, and never on Facebook, but your mention of the vague post hit a nerve:) It was nice to stop here from Women of Midlife

  • You are my social media kindred.

  • I agree with everything. I try to remember (and remind my daughters) “there is no eraser on the internet.”

  • I have nothing to add to the list.
    I probably *do*, actually, if I forced myself to sit down and write my own list of
    Thou Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots
    but I tend to assume that the world probably continue its bad behavior, despite my wisdom.

  • So. much. yes. to this! I agree!! (The only exception in my social media world is hashtags — one of the ambassadorships I work with wants me to use ALL THE HASHTAGS! It still seems counterintuitive, because sometimes I feel like hashtagging #IJustTookaBreath #OhLookITookAnotherOne but for that purpose it’s “the thing”!). Enjoyed this post immensely!

  • Great advice. I have a problem ignoring offensive posts when they come from family members; somehow it feels personal when they’re bashing a point of view I hold.

  • Ah reading this makes me realize it’s been too long since I visited your blog, Doreen. Sensible advice! Thank you.

  • I agree with MIchelle that this should be required reading. It was perfect and I agree with every point.

    What DID we do before SM? Oh, yes. My house was much cleaner and I was more productive. You were right again! I’m working on limiting my time on SM….

  • I think you covered everything that needed to be stated, and I agree with everything you posted. I’ve always been annoyed by the vague poster and I don’t enjoy being coerced into commenting or “giving one for getting one” kinds of tactics. Sometimes I feel like writing a comment; other times I just want to give a pat on the back for a blog well done. Pat on the back!

  • THIS should be required reading.

  • I love the way you deconstruct the fallacy of some common advice. Yes, do tell it, girl!

  • I love this! Especially this -> Do not post spoilers. Be considerate of our friends in different time zones. If you cannot wait to talk about that winner or scene, take it private.
    That’s one thing that gets me crazy (along with all the others). In the middle of a freezing cold winter, when I am miserably shut up in my house because I hate the cold…WHY do people do that??

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