This is the third and final installment in our series “It’s Not About the Leggings: Strong Online Stances and You.” If you missed the first two posts, make sure you check out Aggressive Marketing Tactics and Click Bait.
Manners On The Move
Besides aggressive marketing tactics by businesses and more subtle ‘click bait’ approaches to get people to websites, the fast evolution of online manners is something that effects us all.
Social norms move quickly in this online world. Many people, including myself, are still figuring it out. Do I tag my boyfriend in a Facebook post without asking him? Do I post a picture of my friend? Do I invite that new woman in my running group to my online pajama sale this coming Saturday?
Gary Vaynerchuck says ‘content is king but context is God’ and he’s right. Context can briefly be broken down in three different questions, 1) Does it make sense in the context of the social media platform you’re using (i.e. is this an Instagram post or a Twitter post?), 2) Does it interrupt people in a bad way (think pop-up ads that are hard to click out of), and 3) Does this align with how I want to be seen as a person/brand/business? These are the big takeaways, but the article itself is worth a read: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/content-is-king-but-context-is-god/
However, if you aren’t a brand or a business, those questions may not translate to your personal social media usage. Instead, these questions can help you find your context. Some questions before taking an action:
- What things about social media am I comfortable with doing (posting photos, ‘liking’ political figures, etc.)?
- How often will I post? What is ‘too much’?
- If my information involves other people, do I get their consent? Do I get consent always or just for certain kinds of information? If so, how?
- What subjects am I comfortable talking about online? My religion? My struggle with depression? My children? Where I am drinking my beer right now?
- If I have a business, what tactics am I comfortable using to promote my business? Do these make other people comfortable?
- If someone isn’t comfortable, how will I address it? If people opt out, how will I deal with that?
An example in my own life, I don’t ‘check in’ to a location with someone without their consent. But if I have a really flattering picture of a good friend, I post it but don’t tag it (I let people tag themselves). These are some of my lines but yours will likely be different.
After this series, you can probably go back to the beginning offenses and realize that being outraged about someone who is overenthusiastic at Lularoe isn’t really isn’t about the leggings. A lot of the things we’ve brought up fall on individual people and companies to decide whether or not what they’re posting is “appropriate.” While you can’t control what other people choose to share online, perhaps you’ve thought of a few ways to be a bit more mindful of your own posting habits and what your online rules look like.
What we can control is how we react to this behavior. Kindness and a desire to understand go a long way, online and off. So when you feel yourself get irate at a friend’s Instagram post or deciding whether you should tackle a controversial topic in a blog post, keep these things in mind and proceed as best you can. Because that’s all any of us can do.