Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

YOU Equal Etiquette

with 2 comments

Over at the Diva Marketing Blog I read a postEtiquette For A Social Media World.” I am always on the lookout for tips about etiquette, especially about etiquette for the business world. The post included some interesting quotes so I put it on my Clipmarks and posted it on my business blog. Then, in true online etiquette, Toby stopped by my blog and left a comment.

Toby said, “Thanks for continuing conversation. As more people join the social world, as it was/is in the non digital world, a few manners can help us “live kindly together.”

What does social media etiquette mean to you?”

I wanted to reciprocate to show my respect.

I said, “The social media etiquette standard I hold myself to is that I “respond” and not “react.” I am a pen and paper gal. If I find myself “reacting” I scribble my emotions out in a notebook. Somewhere in there, I find my voice for “responding.”

However, Toby’s question simmered in my thoughts.

Does etiquette stifle the raw emotion of being human?

I watch Bravo TV’s Top Chef. Season 4’s Episode 5 is a nice encapsulated example of “manners” stifling the “humanness” of a person. The winners of the Quickfire and Elimination challenges stand there and simply nod their head while they whisper “thank you” to the judges.

Would it be in poor taste for a winner to express their raw emotions?

I suppose people would say the winners were gloating. It is equally unacceptable for losers to express their inner feelings. They would be poor sports. If you watch Episode 5, at the end you will see the chefs lose their cool. The intensity of the situation along with a grueling schedule gets the better of the chefs and their social graces crumble.

Do manners affect the final judging?

NO! The judges are there to determine if the chef can produce top-notch dishes. They do not care if the chefs like each other. They do not award points for being the most gracious winner. They do not subtract points for being a sore loser.

Is “Social Media Manners” imposing your expectations on others?

I believe it is. Define “kind.” Would you consider a person kind if they took a moment out of their day to read your blog? Would you consider a person kind if they took the time to leave a comment? Would you consider it “kind” of a compliment that your writing was so powerful it produced an emotional reaction in the reader? Yet, it would be unkind if the comments were not what you expected?

Why are you taking it personally?

Let a commenter’s writing be a reflection of them. Perhaps someone’s boss has unleashed a toddler-like-temper tantrum on that someone. They had to stand there. “Take it like a man.” That would be the professional thing to do. It shows good manners. Following the incident, that someone takes a moment to read online. Something in your post strikes a nerve. That someone lets loose a rant.

Let your response be a reflection of you.

“Social Media Etiquette” is how you choose to handle yourself.

Written by The Purple Lara

April 10, 2008 at 4:26 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Hi again .. love that you are bouncing this topic around a bit. Social media is a new platform where people come to play, interact, learn from each other. Yes, it often means disagreeing .. which is a great way to learn.

    As for harmful rants, such as a boss’ “toddler-like-temper tantrum” .. rather sad if that’s that’s the only type of communication skill a person has developed to show dissatisfaction. Been there and had it done to me; btw .. not an environment for creativity nor productivity.


    April 12, 2008 at 6:25 PM

  2. Hi Toby! Thank you so much for posting a follow up comment.

    I agree with you “Been there and had it done to me; btw .. not an environment for creativity nor productivity.”

    The only person I can control is me. I have to stick to what I know to be etiquette. I have to behave online in a way that I think shows respect.

    However, the Internet makes the world a smaller place. People from all walks of life participate. Their definition of etiquette is going to be different from mine. By trying to understand their point of view and then respond accordingly, I hope it helps keep Internet interactions more harmonious.

    Again, thank you Toby.


    April 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM

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