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Self-imposed social media rules

July 7, 2009

There are de jure social media rules that come from technological constraints or company policies. There are social media norms that sometimes they differ among social circles.

And then there are self-imposed social media rules. For better or for worse: self-censorship. Over time, I have crafted and adapted my own code of conduct. Here are some of the rules and guidelines I’ve given myself:

  • I try to wait at least 15 minutes between tweets on Twitter, usually longer. Replies don’t count, as only people following both parties receive them.  (I’m still probably clogging the feeds of my friends who follow 12 people, but I have decided that’s their problem.)
  • I don’t promote every blog post I write, only the ones I think are interesting or useful to a particular audience. Corollary: If I do promote it, I only promote it twice (usually once on Twitter and once on Facebook), because more than that turns my FriendFeed into a steady stream of annoying self-promotion.
  • If one of my friends has already shared an item in Google Reader, I don’t share it again in Google Reader. (That doesn’t necessarily stop me from sharing it elsewhere.)
  • I don’t write cryptic statuses, updates or away messages. If I can’t be specific, I don’t say it. (I suppose the exception would be song lyrics, but those usually just means the song is stuck in my head. Interpret it as you will.)
  • I don’t invite people to applications on Facebook.
  • I don’t LOL. I just don’t use it, unless it’s in a mocking way. It doesn’t usually bother me when other people do, though some do abuse it. I typically write “haha” instead, which really isn’t better or even different, but for some reason I think it will make people take me more seriously.

So, am I the only one neurotic enough to worry about things like this? Do you have any self-imposed social media rules? How much are they influenced by other people’s standard practices? How much are they influenced by how you want people to see you?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2009 12:04 pm

    I try to use English at all times. I think ,”I don’t LOL,” kind of covers this, but as a general rule I give my best effort to spell, punctuate, and capitalize correctly. Here’s hoping I did so in this post…

  2. Natalie DeBruin permalink*
    July 7, 2009 1:35 pm

    Oh, that’s a good one. I would rather rework a whole tweet than say “2nite,” and if I notice an error in an old post that’s too late to update, it kills me (figuratively).

  3. Emily Hanlon permalink
    July 7, 2009 2:03 pm

    Even though I understand how useful they are as an conversational/archival tool on Twitter, I find certain people’s use of hashtags to talk about everyday things cheesy and slightly grating. For example:

    Man, I would give anything for a Carmel Macchiato right now #Starbucks

    What a beautiful day! I think I’m going to take a walk through the green and then study at Alden #Ohiou

    I dunno, this one might just be me. I personally only use hashtags when apart of a current ongoing conversation.

    The main aspect of social media conduct I’ve had difficulty with is navigating how relationships I’ve developed on certain social media sites spill over into other aspects of my online identity. There are people I’m solely friends online that I’m connected to on every single social media site I’m on (and I’m on dozens). I’ve gotten freelance work through Twitter, met people through Twitter, helped people with their projects etc, so I find its social corollary in real life valuable. At the same time, there have been times when people have friended me on Facebook or elsewhere via Twitter when I didn’t really think it was appropriate. It’s a crack science figuring it all out though.

    On that note, I added you as a friend on Facebook. I’m going to assume it’s appropriate because 1. You go and I used to go to the same J-School 2. We’ve talked on Twitter a handful of times 3. Neither of us use LOL.

  4. July 8, 2009 8:52 am

    I’m with you on the not using LOL rule.
    I find “haha” to be much more realistic and genuine.

    And I agree with the time lapse between tweets. Although I try to give a little time between my replies as well.

  5. Libby permalink
    July 9, 2009 11:47 am

    Thank god, LOL makes me want to puke.

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