Have you ever wondered if there were actual rules guiding the use of social media? Have you ever felt like throwing your phone into a bucket of water or closing all your social media accounts because of something that happened? Are you looking to lead a drama free life on social media? Then this is definitely for you!
A couple of days ago, an altercation happened between friends. One of them was in the habit of munching chats between she and anyone else who happened to be on her blackberry so if she was giving you gist, she served it hot Linda Ikeji style. In her defence she said she preferred to give info straight from the horse’s mouth and that she was too busy to type long messages and didn’t think stuff said in private to her was something you should be afraid to say to the person’s face. Sounds like she had a pretty strong argument ay?
However on the other side of the great divide, is the other friend who treasures her privacy and would speak her mind about issues and people without reservation to a friend in confidence like most women do but would never imagine a third party reading every single thing she sent to her friend verbatim so imagine her utmost shock and anger when the subject of her most recent rantings sent her munched conversations where she expressed her displeasure about said person? A breach of privacy that left her in an unanticipated hot mess!!!
Now everyone is entitled to their beliefs and judgment calls especially on social media but the ripple effect can’t be ignored. While some people have become multimillionaires from leaked sex tapes others have been utterly disgraced and had their marriages or relationships end abruptly due to social media related wahala so here are 7 anti-drama rules to using social media- BBM, Facebook, Whatsapp, messengers, Instagram etc.
- Everyone is on social media these days: Your mother, your pastor, your boss, your husband’s family, exes, enemies, bossom buddies, your boo etc. And most people have a mix of these people on their social media. So posting stuff should be akin to taking a walk on the main road in broad daylight; anyone can see you. Rule number 1- do not post personal pics of you that would make you uncomfortable if some person or the other saw them. Remember that some of you have more followers than you can keep track of and with munching and repost apps everywhere you can’t be sure that your post would not go viral and break the internet.
Do not share a private conversation or picture shared with you with someone else without consent especially when it is of a sensitive nature which involves naked or sexual pics or chat, disses, gossip etc. Rule number 2- respect other people’s privacy! Well unless you are a blogger who makes millions from this kinda stuff like Perez Hilton or TMZ but if you are a regular person then imagine how you would feel if the tables were turned!
Do not say something about someone that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to that person’s face. The funny thing about so called private chats on social media is that they always have a way of going public. In fact once you type the words ‘this is between you and I…’ that’s the beginning of trouble! There will always be people itching to know the latest about you (monitoring spirits) and those ready to go any lengths and there will always be people who serve info from the horse’s mouth and others who might leave their phones lying carelessly about without passwords! Conspiracy theories abound and unless you love drama make sure to keep your chats plain and instead call the person if you need to say something private. Phone calls aren’t bugged half as much as chats are munched! Rule number 3- if you can’t eat it (your words), don’t say it!
Avoid arguments on social media. The problem with words is that they can be read with varying emotions and thus interpreted to mean different things. ‘What is wrong with you?’ could be interpreted as a question of concern, anger, chastisement etc but the person who it is directed at is not a spirit and can’t know for sure how you meant it to be said so a lot of misunderstandings happen online. So unless you are looking for attention howbeit negative, avoid arguments on social media. Rule number 4: Don’t speak words with double entendres unless you plan to send mixed messages!
Some responses rub people the wrong way: ‘k’, ‘kk’, ‘aii’, ‘ait’, unfunny/distracted ‘lol’ or ‘lmao’, writing in CAPS and indiscriminate use of emoticons. The average tolerant person is unperturbed by these conversation killers but if the person was passing on serious info (like how much he loves you hehehe) or receives these in response to a long epistle he/she sent to you then it comes off as slightly offensive.
P.S: Writing in capital letters looks like you are shouting! Rule number 5: Don’t write in shorthand to someone you wouldn’t speak in monosyllables to!
Do not save sensitive info or pics on your phone/tablet or computer. Every device is connected to the internet these days and all it takes for something personal to get exposed is for you to leave it on a device that is connected to the internet. Quite recently a lot of celebs had their naked pictures surface online and hearing that their systems had been hacked made me wonder about the wisdom behind leaving such material lying around for some criminal hacker or frenemy to break in and steal. One must think twice about sending nude pics to a lover or even passing sensitive information like access codes or pins to someone via social media. Hackers abound! Rule number 6: The best place to hide something is in plain sight; if it can’t be hid properly then it should never be created!
Bullying someone online makes you look like a sad, pathetic loser no matter how valid your points are. It’s funny how cyber bullies operate from the comfort of their homes under anonymous identities and aliases and spread hate and malice online. A lot of people have committed suicide or cried their eyes to sleep on account of this. Yes a lot of people pretend to be who they are not on social media but their escape from reality should not be your concern and if you feel the burning desire to call them out please do so in private. Relishing the open disgrace makes you no better than the hoe you are calling out besides I should warn you that many people have learned to give it to cyber bullies as hot as they get it cc: Rihanna and Davido! If you must fight a war online do so in plain sight with guns blazing- Rule number 7- anything else is plain cowardice!
Please disregard the rules above if you thrive on drama or crave endless attention!
Social media is a tool and should not control us. So many friendships have been ruined all because they got caught up in the ripple effect that a breach of another’s privacy ultimately led to.
Avoid putting your entire life, romance, achievements or drama on social media. It makes you look like you are over- compensating for a deficiency by creating an illusion!
Say No to Cyber Bullying!
That’s all folks, have an incredible evening Chutzpah fam,