Social Media Responsibility & Etiquette

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  • 0:04 Pause Before You Post
  • 1:12 Your Responsibility
  • 1:49 The Golden Rule,…
  • 2:34 Social Media Etiquette
  • 4:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Trying to figure out how to navigate the explosion of social media sites available today? In this lesson, we'll discuss a social media user's responsibilities and tips for being on your best behavior online.

Pause Before You Post

Don has a nice job as a writer for a monthly magazine in his hometown. Over the weekend, he spies a local television commercial he thinks is funny and comments about it on his favorite social media network. By Monday, word of his post has traveled to his boss, who calls Don into her office and asks why he chose to poke fun at one of the magazine's largest advertising clients. Don is taken aback and stammers out a reply. His boss, unfortunately, is not satisfied with his answer and terminates Don's employment.

This may seem like an extreme case of social media consequences, but would it surprise you to know it's true? The name and specific circumstances have been changed, but it is a true story about someone who lost his job over what he thought was an innocent social media comment.

Social media has grown in popularity over the years, with one site turning into two and now hundreds of options for sharing your thoughts, photos, and videos and for interacting with friends and family.

The more it grows, the more we discover about the do's and don'ts of social media. The same rules apply to all social media playgrounds, regardless of which site is your favorite. Let's take a look at some best practices for engaging in responsible social media use and best practices for social site etiquette.

Your Responsibility

We all have friendships and professional relationships that can either be helped or hindered by our social media presence. Imagine you post inappropriate selfies of your weekend activities on Instagram. Have you considered what your boss will think? What if you say something spiteful after a fight with a friend and then realize they saw it before you could delete it? You may have just lost a friendship over social media silliness.

You are 100 percent responsible for everything that appears on your social media accounts, from your status updates and comments to pictures, videos, and links you share. Here are some tips for staying on top of your personal and professional responsibilities in today's social age.

Golden Rule, Safety, and Privacy

You won't agree with everything or everyone you encounter on social media networks, but treat each person with dignity and respect. The Golden Rule of treating others how you want to be treated is a good practice.

Do not turn to social media as a way to harass, demean, or bully someone else. Sitting in front of a computer screen does not give you license to embarrass, intimidate, or spread hurtful rumors about others.

Regardless of your privacy settings, keep in mind that anything can possibly be seen by anyone at any time, even by that person that you didn't want to see it. Think before you post!

Whether you're concerned with maintaining good friendships or future job prospects, be responsible in what you post and how it could affect your reputation. Many employers now check up on job candidates' social media accounts for evidence of bad behavior.

Social Media Etiquette

Now that you have a general idea of how to behave on social media, let's take a look at some best practices for good social media behavior.

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