Social Media Manners Matter

When did it become acceptable to not hold open a door for those entering right behind you? The elderly for instance. Or, how about those who no longer show respect to women, allowing them to board a bus or train first, have the front seat of the car or simply waiting to sit down until they have been seated. Maybe it is just the way that my father raised me, but I feel as if there has been a MAJOR lack in the common respect for one another. So many seem to have lost their sense for manners.

Social Media has allowed for this shift in mentality to manifest at a rapid pace. No longer are personal phone calls or hand written letters worth the effort. “I’ll just send them a Facebook message or post something on their wall.” Sometimes that is acceptable; let’s say if you are mentioning a simple happy birthday to an acquaintance or congratulations for good news that was shared. However, there is a fine line of acceptability and flat out dis-respect. Allow me to share a personal example that inspired this piece:

Recently, a family member used Facebook as a means to contact me in regards to some extremely important family information. This information was nothing of positivity, nor was it light in it’s substance. This was major. Not only was this extremely important news, this was the second time Facebook had been used as a means to make me aware of what is going on in the family. The first: my grandmother’s death. No phone call or text message; just a Facebook message. Is this the right way to use social media?

This is not a story about me, it is one inspired by something that happened dear and personal to me, making it all that much more relevant to share. It really got the engines churning and had me pondering the question:

“Why has social media become the standard to avoiding confrontation?”.

Personally, I believe it is simply a way to put it all out there in hopes that a negative response will be yielded. It is human nature to display candor in a situation where the respondent is distant or unlikely to even notice your outreach.

At the end of the day let’s all sit back and think about this. Question how you interact with your customers, peers and your family. What is your reputation for showing the utmost respect in all instances? Are you the first to sit or the last? Do you take the time to personalize the important news in life? Is a Facebook message the right way to approach a situation?

Social media is a matter of time and place; not an outlet to use and abuse for all things business and personal.

Social manners matter.

They matter in life.

They matter in business.

They should matter to all.

Ed. Note: Check out Karen Talavera’s post on marketing manners and saying thank you @